Last week one of the daughters had a birthday.
They can be cruel reminders, if we let them be, these offspring birthdays. They are mumble-mumble years old now, so we must be (oh heck) mumble-mumble-mumble, and give another ten years or so we'll be all zimmer frames and meals-on-wheels and watching Flog It on iPlayer ...
We do not have to count years. We don't even have to recall, all those years ago, the nappies and sleepless nights, the mumps and chickenpox, the time when you (insert all bad-mother memories. If you can't recall them your children will). And then the bedtime stories, the birthday parties, playing hide and seek in the forest ... the parents evenings, the concerts, the prizegivings ...
And look at them now, all these daughters of mine (I have four). It's hard to connect them with all that long-gone childhood. But, as each has a birthday, it's time to celebrate what wonderful, feisty, independent, free-thinking, bolshy, unique women they have become.
One of the especially wonderful things about them is the support they give me. I do know I've given them the heebie-jeeebies a couple of times. In spite of assurances I won't put myself at risk, it happens occasionally. (I promise I'll never go playing with tigers again.) It can't always be easy wondering what I'm going to do next. Yet, whatever they say to each other behind my back (let's be honest, we all talk about our mothers behind their backs) they have always been encouraging and supportive to my face.
Who cares if I'm mumble-mumble-mumble with young women like this around me to keep me on my toes.