They say that life begins at 40. I'd like to pretend that this little milestone is something to look forward to but unlike my husband who is soon to celebrate this momentus point in his life, it's something I look backwards at. Actually, my 40th was really quite a non-event given that I had only given birth to our youngest son 2 months beforehand and that he was 10 weeks premature. Around the time of my birthday was the point at which he should have been born so it marked a new phase whereby people no longer stopped us in shops to marvel at his tiny form and exclaim 'I've never seen one that small before' and instead we became a normal family rather than a travelling circus.
Beginnings are not just about newness, that's the easy bit;they're about having the energy to enthuse, perhaps to inject a new life and hope into what has become staid (at this point, I hope that my husband doesn't think that I'm describing him in this way) and start over again.
I'll soon be back at uni, resuming my MA studies and that's another beginning because if I'm honest, I've managed to switch off from it almost entirely with all the moving house business. But I can only face it if I sit down with my books spread around me and a new resolve, an attitude that says 'Right, I am now a student again' and this magical vow will transform my thought process from one belonging to a harangued mother into academic genius. If only.
With the children, we have beginnings all the time. When the morning routine slips into a cacophony of chaos (as it frequently does), when just getting them to brush their teeth seems to be the most unachievable goal in the universe, I think up a new scheme to encourage their co-operation. A new beginning in the form of a star chart.
Well, I must go now. We're expecting a man. My mother's getting a new car which means I'm getting her old one. It's the same old one I've been borrowing regularly for the past 6 years and yet, to have it given to me makes it new again. I'm even going to clean it. It will be born again....