Just recently I have spent time with my Lovely Man's family as well as my own parents and although visiting my own oddball parents is an adventure in itself, Lovely Man's parents house is usually more full and lively. This is probably due to the fact that Lovely Man is so much younger than myself and therefore so are his parents; he also has a bigger family and I am lucky to feel equally at home in both places.
So now that my eldest offspring is almost closer to 16 than 15, I find myself wondering what it will be like to have them 'home to visit' with various friends and boyfriends when they are older. Will I still be such an embarrassment that they won't bring their friends home at all? Perhaps even they won't want to come? Or will they just come home to humour me? Will the Not So Small Sprog walk through the front door, straight to the kitchen and stick his head in the fridge to see what's for lunch? For that last one, I hope so.
How will it be? There is much to look forward to I hope but I dare not to imagine it for fear of it not turning out as planned.
Sitting here now, in Lovely Man's Parents House, the window open and bird song in abundance, I want this paradise for my own family. I want the house in the country with fruit trees and space all around. Yet I am already middle aged. This prize is the one afforded to people who marry young and stay together through thick and thin, who build on the foundations of solid jobs and hard work, who bring their children up in a stable family, no bags packed for weekends with daddy, no halving of the marital home or working part time because there's not much else available right now.
Someone once told me that I would be jeopardising my financial future if I left my marriage. They were right of course and I knew so at the time. Yet I felt and still feel that to stay together for financial and material reasons alone would be like throwing away life itself. To not feel love or be loved.
Someone else once told me that to achieve anything, to reach your goal, you have to have a plan. Dare I plan or even dream? Does it seem fruitless, when half your life is over, to keep striving for perfection?
This is what I have begun to ask myself. Yet I guess in a way I already have the answer. In these last three years life has changed beyond all recognition. I have invented a new life for myself; perhaps it is a new life or perhaps it is just one more point along the axis from start to finish. Maybe, still, anything is possible. We just have to make it happen.