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Hold on tight

December 18, 2013

I was asked by a TV producer today how it felt being an older mother? had I had people stand and stare? gasp disapprovingly? and much much more …

I answered that I am just the mother I am, it wasn’t through deliberate choice in my 20s that I finally gave birth when I was 47, it was just how my life worked out. I often joke to people that if I’d had children earlier I’d have had a dozen by now, but who knows, I might have struggled with being a mother 25 years ago, not been so willing to have nights on my own with a small person, not so keen on playgroups and children’s songs. I don’t know … but one thing is sure, I am happier than I’ve ever been being a mother now. I am constantly shattered but having spent the weekend around a mother almost 20 years younger than me, I had it reconfirmed that being shattered isn’t to do with my age it’s to do with being the mother of a small person and dealing with broken nights, readjusting to a different world and dirty diapers (sounds better in an alliterative way than dirty nappies!!!). I am where I am, I’m extraordinarily fortunate to have been able to carry a pregnancy and give birth to an incredible daughter in my later 40s and no, nobody has gasped disapprovingly or stood and stared because of my age … I haven’t had any negative comments at all.

I held on tight to my dream, I’d always had some deep rooted belief that I would have children one day through all the ups and downs, but when it became a real possibility, I worked hard to make the dream a reality.

Hope’s playgroup had its nativity play this last Sunday … she was an angel. She wore the same white broderie anglaise dress she wore last year, she’s still so petite, but she is now growing fast now, she won’t be wearing it next year. Hope was an angel, so was her little friend. They looked endearingly cute (I hate that word but they did) in their wings, pottering around together until the angel wars erupted 3/4 way through the service. Hope’s rubbish mother had forgotten to take a snack for her small angel (actually I was worried she might smear it on her white clothes), and she spotted her chum’s little pot of raisins (she has an exceptionally good mother). Said chum was furious when she realised her snack was at risk from another angel, she managed to snatched the pot away, Hope went for it and if it wasn’t for the hasty intervention of the exceptionally good mother, the angel wars would have escalated into full scale fire and brimstone.

Hope then stood back and watched the brass band as they played all the familiar Christmas hymns. While she was standing there, in her new sandals (bought for the trip to the States but way too big then and only just fitting now), her huge feathery wings (thank you to her godmother for those), her white dress and hand knitted cardigan with some golden tinsel around her top knot she seemed lost in the music. Lost in thought. She wriggled her shoulders a little, the wings rustled and she flapped them gently. Then, carefully but without seeming to realise what she was doing, she held onto them. Her tiny hands appeared along the edge of the feathers and she held on tight.

So … just as with dreams, so it is with wings … the conclusion I reached when I was talking to the journalist earlier was that people should hold on tight to the former (whatever their age), just as Hope’s response to the Salvation Army brass band was to hold on tight to her wings.

hold on tight to your wings

hold on tight to your wings


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