Up messing around with the chooks. The chook run is at the very back of the garden, and our neighbours behind have been here longer than us.

Suddenly I am back twenty odd years away…chatting with Mrs X. Mrs. X is our neighbour at the back. Jack is a toddler, Isabel is a babe in arms or walking – I can’t remember. We are playing at the back of the garden. There is a wooden fort and a swing. The garden is unkempt but a fun playground for exploring. It’s hot. I am probably tired. Full days.

Mrs X looks over the fence and starts talking wistfully. No hello, just straight into a reflection. A remembrance of herself as a young mother with children playing around her. Suddenly she stops and says – remember these times, they go by so fast, yet sometimes the days do drag. But they will grow and go. My son died in a motorbike accident in his 20s. My daughter sees me still but she has children, lives away, and is busy also.

And Jack leaves for Bonn in 6 days and I feel so sad. Yes he is around still of course, but I will miss him so. Living somewhere in Australia is different to living across the world. And despite email, social media, Skype and all the things can threaten at times to overwhelm…I am already feeling this sense of loss.

I am not trying to beat it all up. Just working through my melancholy. Not maudlin. Just thinking of all those childhood years.

I am so utterly proud of him. A combination of gentleness, wit, playfulness and brainpower.

And he is such a lovely person. I don’t think there can ever be a nicer external validation of parenting than when others remark on your children. We don’t have children to show what great people we are, and there is the whole nature vs nuture thing. But I love that he has this maths ability that comes from ?, and that he has my dad’s square knees!

I want both my children to be happy and fly.

and part of me is sad as Mrs X is still there, and wonder what pain she still has



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