Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May

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.

Almost gone.
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.

He liked soft play very much indeed.
Of course first, we have to do it all again.
And that is good. I’m ready for change, but I’m not that ready.

  10 comments for “Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May

  1. Emma
    March 14, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Do you know, Merry, I was thinking along those lines myself. We were talking to a pregnant friend about what we could pass on to her, but I told her I wanted the cot back when she was done, for the grandchildren. Everyone looked at me sideways, my husband included. I don’t think I’ll ever feel “done” having babies, but I am accepting that the next babies will be grandbabies, and I feel absolutely fine with that. I’ve even been eyeing up the books and the nicest non-plastic crap toys that could be safely tucked away in the next few years for our future joy. It’s strangely liberating. My older kids are not as grown up as yours yet, but I’m looking forward to it, rather than dreading it. That in itself tells me I’m done having babies. But I’m glad we get to go through all the lovely next few years with a small one again. (I hope. Always that nagging fear). Your girls are a credit to you, and I’m sure that Bene will be a joy to revel in x

    • March 15, 2013 at 10:41 am

      You know, I made myself edit out the ‘all being well’. But it is always there.

      • March 16, 2013 at 9:55 pm

        Oh Merry, we are so entwined with our children that it can’t help being about us too. :)

  2. March 14, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Oh Merry, this speaks to my heart right now. Today I held my friends beautiful baby girl in my arms and I thought how it would feel to hold my future grandchildren, when just a while ago I would’ve craved another baby of my own.
    I feel rather strange saying goodbye to so many things that until recently defined me in my role as this particular mother, now I feel I’m on the cusp of a new phase, I’m nervous and scared, but it feels right too.
    I’ve tried to blog about it, but I can’t quite shape the words to describe it.

    • March 15, 2013 at 10:42 am

      I’m not sure I can shape them either really. I meant this post to be about their game but I made it all about me!

  3. March 14, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Today I did a photo-shoot with my girls all ‘glammed up’ ~ it was fun, but suddenly I was standing in the presence of two young women (not girls), one taller than me! I’m completely with you on this post ~ baby in one arm and grandkids in the back of my mind ~ I could have written this post ;D!!

    • March 15, 2013 at 10:43 am

      The difference between big and little ones seems very big just now!

  4. March 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Lovely, lovely post Merry! It has me grinning and, oh my goodness, I know those feelings so well!

  5. March 16, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Oh to be able to embrace the future and I love the completed, but not complete line. So very eloquent

  6. Grampty
    March 17, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    equally wistful …

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