We spent the evening while we were waiting for dinner to be ready tying his new helium-filled balloons to various things. Firstly, his space rocket (made out of a big smartie tube and three small ones with tissue paper in the ends for flames). We had to do countdowns and send the space rocket off on a rescue mission to get the balloon down from the ceiling. I don't suppose he is the first boy to learn to count backwards before he learned to count forwards. Come to think of it, he also learned to crawl backwards before he crawled forwards.
We are counting down too. Two sleeps until his own birthday. (A major diplomatic incident ensued when we bought a present for his little friend today and not for him. He made up for it by singing happy birthday to himself as he went to sleep tonight and giving himself three cheers.) Six sleeps until we have to be out of this house and we don't know where we are going to yet. This week does not seem real - more like life in suspended animation. I hope there will be good news and a firm moving-in date for us tomorrow.
The little one has taken to holding my little finger whenever he can. (Have you ever tried to write an email while someone is doing this? At least I have an excuse for typos.) He clings to me and doesn't let me out of his sight in the house. Alternatively, he takes off at top speed in totally random directions at the supermarket. Do they all do this, or is it another clue that he is feeling some of the turmoil in the adults around him at the moment? I am the same when it comes down to it. In times of anxiety, I am either too scared to let go and cling on, afraid to step out in faith, despite it proving justified time after time, or I run. I hide in different things. Sometimes, it's in watching telly. Sometimes, it's my bed, but that doesn't last long with a husband getting up while it's still dark to go to work and a toddler who arrives shortly after dawn. Sometimes, I just hide at home and don't go out at all. The rain is a good excuse. I wanted to do that today, but I knew the struggle to get my boy ready and in the car would be worth it for the fun he would have.
When we drove over the Monnow Bridge in Chepstow though, I wished I was back home again. There, along almost the entire length of the bridge are flowers in tribute to a young man who disappeared from there recently and hasn't been found since. It moved me to tears. There is genuinely no hiding from life. You can look after your kids as well as the best mum in the world, but you can't stop death when it comes cruelly and unexpected, shattering lives and dividing families. Life is a one-way road, like the one I was on, with no turning around and no oncoming traffic to give you a clue as to what lies ahead. But there on the horizon, there is someone who waits for me, who calls me, who said he was the Way, the Truth and the Life. I have to believe him. What is the use of a road without a destination, a journey without a homecoming and a life without eternity?