Reflections seem to become more frequent as you get older. Memories mount up, and such odd things trigger reflections, and one leads to another and then another. Like leaves swirling in the road. I remember coming home from the nursing home when Andrew was born on a cold autumn day, and the leaves were blowing in the wind on the road, crunched by tyres, and getting caught under the windscreen wipers.
Then that reminds me of how, when I was expecting him, I bought a sewing machine, and sewed an entire maternity dress backwards. The machine was in reverse, and I thought that was the way it was supposed to go. I was very young. My mother laughed till she cried. How I decided to knit some booties for him, and Mum thought she would too, and she had finished booties, jackets and hats before I got half of one done, and tossed it into a cupboard in disgust. Then that reminds me of when he met his dad for the first time. He was 6 weeks old, and Geoff flew back from Norway, and at the airport, he saw me, and he ran straight to the carrycot, to pick up his son, before he even said hello. How I sterilised bottles by boiling them, and melted down the lot when I forgot them. I can still smell molten plastic. How, the first time I let my mother take him for a walk, I followed them, hiding behind trees, to make sure she didn't do anything silly like cross a road. She still grins at that one. I was so sure that only I knew how to look after him properly. This is the woman speaking who was so terrified of pricking him with a nappy pin, that his nappies kept unfolding like flowers. Towelling nappies. That was when disposable ones had not been invented, epidurals were regarded as newfangled and to be avoided, and computers were things the size of small houses, and needed cards with holes in them and lots of 0s and 1s.
How we sat on the floor in front of the new oven watching a chicken on the rotisserie for the first time, and forgot to tie it in place, and the legs fell off, then the wings and we laughed so much. How I had a dinner party and while draining potatoes, they all fell into the sink full of water. I rinsed them off and served them anyway.
I have more than 5 decades of memories that I can take out and turn over in my mind. Of my children as they grew up, and of the things I have dreamt of and how they have changed. The dreams. There is a long list of things I thought I wanted, and then discovered I didn't any more. Of pinnacles I thought I had to reach but then realised how unimportant they were. The moment your children are born, the "I" is relegated to last place forever, and all of a sudden, your life explodes with colour. 30 years ago, I was expecting my first child. 30 years, 3 children, 2 countries, 1 life, 1 000 000 memories.