Time not so long past, I was a woman with a gaggle of little girls at my knees, following me baby-duck-like, wherever we went. My whole girl famili-ness defined me as much as Hama Beads and crafting and selling things and always having two too many things to do. Slightly scruffy, free spirited but not too naughty (apart from Amelie), princess and Peter Panning gaggle of girls in ballet shoes, fairy dresses and with forgotten coats.
And games. So many games. Days and days of a childhood lost in imaginary worlds spread across the floor of whichever room could not be trashed by the baby. Weeks away with late nights at friends homes, camps in youth hostels, an endless sea of children in craftiness and pirate garb, clustered around the basement video player or curled in corners with an endless evolution of Ds consoles.
Maddy indulged Josie in a playmobil game this week. She’s grown up so suddenly since she started taking thyroxine and her playing days are almost over but Josie wanted and Maddy consented and they’ve had 3 peaceful days of perfect imagination and companionship.
It struck me it is probably the last time I will see this happening. Maddy isn’t growing up slowly as Fran did. Her hormones have been kick started and she’s gone from still so young to young womanhood in weeks; she has stretched and slimmed and her face has lengthened and she said wistfully to me only a week ago that she had tried to play a game and it just wouldn’t come.
It’s like this week has been an Indian summer of girlhood.
I thought I would be more sad. Before I felt done with having babies, the thought of them growing up made me sad but now it doesn’t. Now it excites me. Now, bizarrely, I’ve started to see blankets I make as things my grandchildren will curl under and toys that can be put away for when they come to stay.
I went out of the alpha female role kicking and screaming, but with Bene here and our family completed (if not complete), I’m happy enough to embrace the cave crone role. It feels right now.
Suddenly I can imagine having our girls back for a weekend, ambling to a pub or cafe with them and teenage son in tow and enjoying civilized company, adult conversation, peaceful weekends of plans and memories.