I remember when I was a kid, how old everyone over the age of, say, 14, was. Twenty-year-olds were indistinguishable from 60-year-olds. They all just belonged to the category “ancient”. I’d be reading the newspaper and find some story about a 25-year-old killed in a car crash and think, “Oh well, at least it wasn’t anybody young. At least she’d lived.”
Baby Duck made a birthday card for his beloved teacher last term. She can’t be any more than late twenties, if that. He drew a careful picture of her blowing out her candles on the front of the card. The candles were those ones you get in the shape of numbers.
“How old do you think Mrs F is?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he said, “so I just picked a really big number.”
The numbers said “81”.
The other day he was eating a bowl of grapes and I took one. Very magnanimously, he offered to share the bowl. Mindful of all that positive parenting advice that says you should praise behaviour you would like to encourage, I told him how kind he was to share.
“I want to be really nice to you while I still can,” he confided.
“Do you mean before you grow up and move out?” I asked.
“Mmm. And before you die.”
Guess I’d better book my spot in the retirement village soon. Fortunately for my battered ego, Demon Duck was given an email account at school last week. She spent the weekend emailing sweet messages to everyone she could think of.
One of the ones I received said:
“i love you mummy. it's like you are a star and i am a twinkle. when we get together we shimmer and shine. that's why i love you so much.”
Much better to be a star than hovering on the brink of death! I feel better already.