Today, the girls were at their carer's house and I worked from home. At lunch, Al came by and we went for a short walk, just around the corner and up a lane, so that I could show him a pink room in a house. We held hands and my body remembered itself at twenty-seven, in those lonely and confusing basil-scented days (were my twenties spent in gardens, lonely and confused?): no kids in arms and on shoulders, no prams and strollers, no toys that were Absolutely Necessary when we started out and discarded twenty metres down the road, no pulling dogs, no nappy bags, no work bags, no bus-is-leaving-in-ten-minutes-and-I-think-I-can-make-it-if-I-walk-faster
just-missing-it-all-those-people-staring-at-your-sad-mistimed-self, no deadlinedeadlinedeadline, not even an ipod. I felt so light, I was dizzy.
Three hours later I pushed the bloody big pram, bane of my existence, large as a hay cart and just about as manoeuvrable, back home from the carers, laden down with: 2x screaming kids (reasons: 'cold feet', 'tired arm' and 'want yoghurt', and unspecified); 1x nappy bag filled with muddy clothes; 3x socks + 2x pairs of gum boots; 2x under-clothed baby dolls; 2x tupperware containers with half-eaten lunches; 1x plastic bag holding 1x tub Nuttlex and 1x carton soy milk; 1x over-eager labradoodle and 1x lagging greyhound. Two hundred and seventy-three strange and lovely years have passed since my twenties, and I'm not sorry about it, not a bit.