I will always remember the answer the actress gave to the question in the magazine I was leafing through in the doctor’s surgery.
“If you could live any day of your life again, what would it be?”, to which she answered: “Any day when my children were small.”
Wow. Not her wedding day, not that amazing holiday in Fiji, or a skydive, or the first concert, the road trip through France…no. Just any day, picked at random, when her children were small.
ANY day? Anyone with small children knows that “any day” can involve lots of moments you might not want to repeat in a hurry. I don’t need to list examples, because if you had a time machine and could return to any given moment of any given day with your small children, nine times out of ten you’d land on a moment you probably wouldn’t want to repeat.
But it’s the other bits, isn’t it? The bits in between when they do a funny dance or creep up to you with a hug. And the big moments, the big, overriding feeling that they are yours, they are entirely yours. They are your world, and you theirs. They are little lives that depend on you.
No, I guess I can’t imagine that feeling being replicated by a kayak around a harbour or an amazing party once they’re grown and gone and no longer mine.
So next time I’m under the high chair for the eighth time that day gathering toast, or counting to ten, or combing the knots from my unwashed hair, or searching for the toothbrushes, or longing to sit down, or running back into the house for the fifth time, or catching my fingers in the buggy, or trying to do a zip up on a wriggling coat, I will hear those words “Any day when my children were small” and remember that this is the time of my life.