To The Old Lady Who Walks Past My Cottage Everyday at 4pm

There’s an old lady who walks past my cottage everyday at 4pm. She doesn’t say a word to me but if the children are there her face lights up and I see a glimmer of the beautiful woman she used to be. All of a sudden she’s my best friend, asking me about my daughters and whether they had a good day at school or not.

She takes such a simple pleasure in Emily and Jess, whereas I’m always in a rush with herding them to various classes and play dates. I’m always on the move. I’m always under pressure, usually of my own design admittedly. As a result my answers are brief and perfunctory, frequently interspersed with, ‘would you get in the car!’ and ‘for god’s sake stop gnawing on your sister’s arm.’

I dreamt about this woman last night but somehow her face merged with my own grandmother’s whom I sadly lost last year. She and my grandfather had a special way with my children. Any tantrum was quickly cuddled into submission. They took such delight is just hanging out with them and getting to know their little personalities. I miss them everyday.

Have my generation lost the art of being still with our children? We live our lives at a hundred miles an hour, striving to fulfil society’s norms and our own expectations at the same time. Something was always bound to give. But are we doing irreparable harm by not taking a moment to breath once in a while? I worry about it all the time.

So after school today I’m going to take the time to talk to my daughters. I’m going to listen and sympathise about the grazed knees and the friend dramas and admire all the beautiful pictures that they’ve drawn for me. It doesn’t matter if Emily’s ten minutes late for her ballet rehearsal this week. The World isn’t going to end. Nor am I going to have a mini panic about what we’re having for dinner.

And then I’m going to go out of my house at 4pm and talk to another.

Cx

My Petit Canard

 

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17 Comments

  1. April 7, 2017 / 2:20 pm

    Yes. Amen!!! I love it. Cuddling children is the thing we will miss so much when we are the old lady down the street.

  2. April 10, 2017 / 9:30 am

    Such wonderful food for thought. I so agree, the older you get the more you see what’s important. Slowing down and taking the time to appreciate the simple things in life is a big part of that. #MarvMondays

  3. April 10, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    This is a lovely post! It’s amazing how children can bring out a different side in people. I do think that the current generation of mums are trying to juggle so many different opportunities and expectations that we forget about the simple things. I hope you enjoyed some chat and cuddles! #MarvMondays

    • April 10, 2017 / 9:03 pm

      Thanks Angela. I agree with what you’re saying. Our lives are too hectic! I had some lovely cuddles thanks 🙂

  4. Mainy - myrealfairy
    April 10, 2017 / 7:12 pm

    Such a lovely post and so very true, my boys have popped out for a walk with their dad. When they get back I’m going to cuddle them till they squirm away:)
    Mainy
    #mainyloveseaster

    • April 11, 2017 / 5:49 pm

      Ahh that’s a lovely thing to say 🙂 Thank you x

  5. April 11, 2017 / 8:21 pm

    #marvmondays love this, hope she becomes a friend too. How delightful that a woman passing by gave you such a extravagant gift. Hope you are able to look after it x

    • April 11, 2017 / 8:34 pm

      She is lovely! I get much more than a passing smile these days xx

  6. April 14, 2017 / 10:21 am

    This is so true! I think we could all do with slowing down and just being with our children #MarvMondays

  7. April 16, 2017 / 7:06 pm

    This is so beautiful! I often wonder how I’ll feel when I’m older and I see children and think back to these times while my family is still so young. It always makes me want to hug my two that little bit harder. Thank you for sharing this with #DreamTeam x

    • April 17, 2017 / 10:09 pm

      Thanks for that! I know exactly what you mean x

  8. April 18, 2017 / 10:04 am

    What a beautiful idea. It’s wonderful seeing the younger and older generation sharing – they can both gain so much from each other. Children can be such a ray of sunshine for everyone. I bet you give her so much joy. I too am guilty of rushing too much and being distracted when with my kids. It’s modern life I’m afraid, but it’s good to make the effort to pause and truely be with them.
    Kate #postsfromtheheart

    • April 18, 2017 / 10:13 pm

      Thanks Kate. I agree, the younger generation shares such a special connection with the eldest. Thanks again for commenting xx

  9. April 23, 2017 / 9:49 am

    I think there is so much to be said for this. I know I am guilty of cramming as much into our lives as possible, even though I am sure that children would often be much happier (and me less grumpier) with a little time to relax. One day (I tell myself), I will get the balance right #PostsFromTheHeart

    • April 23, 2017 / 8:56 pm

      It’s so hard, I agree. Modern life doesn’t seem to have a pause button… Thanks for commenting! Cx

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