It was gorgeous weather today, even hot under the sun, so everyone was wearing summer clothes and it felt good.. I had been to the library to pick up some more books to read, and was driving home when I happened to see a young mother walking briskly down the road with her young baby in a pushchair.. She was slim, with shiny black hair and walking so fast with a perfect bounce to her walk.. She seemed to be the very picture of youth and fertility with her baby to prove it. She was smiling as she spoke to him -he was dressed in blue so I am guessing it was a boy- He sat all round babyfaced listening and smiling too.. he might not have known what her words said, but he knew by the sounds that she was loving him and sharing her thoughts.
I loved seeing them and reflected how I had felt when it had been my turn to push the pushchair when one of mine was that young. When pregnant with the last baby I had, I remember thinking as I pushed his brother in his pushchair, 'this time next month we shall know what we have and who will be joining this family.. and this time next year, Chris will be walking and I shall have another baby in this pushchair.'. Reading my diaries from those years, I am amazed at how much I had to do and complete in order to keep the family of five children smoothly running.. I often collapsed at the end of the day totally wrecked... in my diary I thought I was being stupid to feel so tired, but looking back it was no wonder!!
It is the role of all mothers to try and be impossibly perfect in all ways, bringing up the kids, feeding, cooking, washing, looking and loving husbands, attending school meetings and making time to see friends and family.. What a huge amount of stress goes into all of it, and yet we did it!
Sometimes my kids will chat amongst themselves about what I did or said during those days.. events of which I have not the slightest recollection, but which for some reason impacted on them and they remembered clearly.. Really weird knowing that what you did then had such an impression on them..
Being a parent was something I always wanted to be, and never thought for one second, how to afford them, what committment it required, how it was all going to work.. Somehow it did and we all grew up together. Having both boys and girls I tried to bring them up exactly the same, as I always believed my parents were more indulgent to my brother and that girls should have the same opportunities.. This worked well and they all achieved good jobs, in fact my girls earning more than their husbands as their careers developed..
However being a parent was such a minefield, I do not know how we all survived it.. Seeing that young girl with her baby walking along the street made me think how lucky she was with all of their lives in front of them, and the energy to get whatever they wanted out of life.. She was happy, and in seeing her I was happy too, on this beautiful sunny day in March