When we first had our children we were living in the North East. Carolyn and David lived close by and they are Pascoe’s godparents. We have now lived in the South East for nearly eighteen years but have kept alive the friendship between our two families.
Sometimes we meet up for a long weekend in Derbyshire, the midpoint.
Nigel and David haul gallons of real ales, sacks of gastro-crisps.
Carolyn and I bring a craft to teach one another.
This Bank Holiday would be the first time without any of our kids. Would it be okay?
We had plenty of time to chat and plenty to chat about. The kids probably picture us discussing them and their plans, and we’ll let them think that. In fact most of the conversation was actually about us, our jobs, our hobbies, our churches and communities.
With four of us rather than nine, we could easily opt to eat out. Gone were the days of Carolyn and I stood grimly side by side at the kitchen bench, me slapping margarine on dozens of rounds of bread, her dolloping the tuna mayo.
We had modest lie-ins – not the doze marathons of teen-age children. We walked modest walks, then chatted over salad lunches.
Did we think of the kids at all? I would love to say “Did we, Hell?” but in fact they each have in their inbox texts showing lambs and bluebells.
So we do miss them – but even so, life goes on.