|via dust jacket|
And then my daughter...there's nothing like having a near-teen daughter to remind me of the passing of time. It's like when a song is played on the radio from ten years ago and you feel like it was yesterday that you last heard it. There are subtleties; I see myself in her. She has the same physique that I did, although she's stronger and more confident in her body than I ever was. I write about her less here than I used to as I am conscious that she could read this - although I doubt she does. One day she might...
My observation at the moment is that she is so full of the promise of youth; that unique time when the whole world stands before her and it's almost overwhelming to know where to take it. I have to say that in the years of parenting that I have experienced (and I am a novice compared to some, I know) the pride I feel for her just grows. There can be confusion though as her actions now don't always invoke unequivocal pride, whereas when she was younger they did. I guess the point is: I feel pride despite her actions and maybe that is what unconditional mother love is all about.
It's funny how reaching a school holiday would normally prompt logistical planning to rival the military - but now it's more like a lovely free fall from the rigour of term time. I used to fret and schedule and generally 'get through' the holidays whereas now, significantly less so. They will have nearly a month off so I am sure by the end I will be longing for some time alone (without dinosaur questions) but for now it feels like a treat to have their company. I guess as my children get older the time they spend alone with me will dwindle. We now rarely go away on holiday without a pack of friends as it works better that way. We are skiing next week with three other families, for example.
I am reading this book of short stories 'Dear Life' by Alice Munro, who at the ripe age of eighty-something was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature last year. The book is so achingly good in a truly subtle way; she writes what she knows and there is a lot of autobiographical detail about Canada that I really enjoyed. What I love the most about her work though is that it's not always jazzy; it's gripping and human and real. It doesn't always have spark and that is exactly the kind of honest writing I aspire to. Sometimes life is quiet and sometimes it is loud and I am fine with either. I hope my readers are too.
Meanwhile I saw this quote and thought I should take a leaf out of that particular book. I admit I have devoted way too much time lately pondering my age and what it all means; milestone birthdays do that to you. I am going to stop now and just get on with things.
One enduring point of age-frustration remains however and that is what to wear! I still spend a disproportionate amount of time considering if I am the 'right' age for something or other and fervently wishing that I had made more daring fashion choices in my younger years. Was it that the 1990s/2000s were a dry old time for fashion? I look back now and think what a missed opportunity; my college wardrobe consisted largely of Levi 501's, a shirt and Chelsea boots. I'd wear the same now (except that skinnies rule my jean world). I never embraced the bohemian surfer chick. Or the preppy New England girl. Or really anything. Maybe this is why I love the 1980's? Madonna's like a virgin phase was my one sartorial rebellion. Ah well, I can now try and perfect the elegant 40 year old; no mean feat but I am endeavouring.