My middle boy says to me, ‘when I’m a grown up I will buy you lots of earrings. And elephant statues. And bees – you like bees and I will buy you lots of them, too.’
My heart melts and I remind myself that this sweet, sweet boy is mine to cherish. 6 years old and he knows all my favourite things and wants to promise me the world.
We head to the park for some fresh air. I’m melancholy, tears not far from my eyes today, and I needed the icy cold to wash over me. I take photos of the park. The day is cold, grey, wintry, but the leaves floating in the lake are riotous and full of colour.
The contrast is startling.
Coffee in hand, I watch a blackbird dance in the grass behind where the boys are playing. He throws clumps of freshly cut grass clippings into the air, scouting for food. He flaps gently, bouncing to the left, then back to the right. I’m mesmerised by this playful bird, dancing in front of me.
My thoughts are bottomless and I can’t seem to complete one train before another comes crashing down. The fresh air helps, giving me peace and solitude as the boys entertain themselves.
I talk to a man and his daughter that we met last week, recognising each other and making small talk. It felt good to laugh.
He cycles home, his daughter secure in her bike seat. The boys and I walk around the lake. We come home and chop swede, parsnips, carrots, onions. We mash potatoes. Feed the hens. Do reading. Mop the floor.
The day feels as if it has been composed of snippets, none of them seemingly connected, but in reality, flowing gently from one to another. I feel disjointed.
But then my middle boy sits there telling me he will buy me my favourite things and how he will help me clean my house even when he no longer lives with me, and I’m brought back to reality – this sweet and wonderful reality right in front of me.
I’m just tired today.