It was -3ºC when we woke on the Moose’s 6th birthday last week. But, still, he wanted to go to the beach & so we did. A sunny morning, a picnic lunch, the shelter of the Isle of Wight across the Solent. The moon was high in the sky. Later, in the play area at the top of the cliffs, the clouds crowded in & the cold reached my core.
He was such a beautiful birthday boy, playing at the water’s edge, watching the sea snails on a rock. I think I’ve had this thought before, but six seems to be so much more about them. It’s enough time that my stories of the day he was born are at once distant and preposterous to us both: What? Once we were without you? Once, I didn’t exist!
We’re coming more and more into a new phase of parenting: everything now is easy in a physical, logistic sense. It’s hard to remember it being otherwise.
I have little else to bring you today. The sky is blue this morning and the contrails long, singular and beautiful. The house is quiet, but everywhere there are signs of the morning — Lego on the table, blocks and train track on the floor, a pile of sand from the Pip-Pop’s wellies. We had a couple of extra children with us this morning and there was quiet industry everywhere. It’s a pity, in a way, that the before-school playdate isn’t an actual thing. Later, there will be the whirl of pick-ups, the drive to band practice. Life full-time with them has been going on for so long, but I’m thinking more and more about how soon it will end.
Later in the week I’ll bring you my next short story choice. There have been good books too — more on those soon. But for now, I’ll leave you with the opening of Philip White’s poem, ‘Infidelity’. It’s one of those that have stayed with me through the years since I first read it.
“Talking only makes me feel more alone,”
you said once in the car outside the clinic.
Two years later, you spoke the same sentence
word for word one night after friends had gone.
Within a month, you’d erased yourself . . .
Erased? “To absent oneself,” I found scribbled on
a wrapper a year later . . .from ‘Infidelity’ by Philip White
You can read the rest here.