The Place Where Time Goes…


Eighteen years ago, my middle daughter was born. It was a momentous day and the sun was shining as if in confirmation. 

She was born sometime in the early evening after delaying her entry to the world, in the way a seasoned performer delays their re-entrences on stage to garner the applause of a grateful audience. If our eldest daughter had remained inside the comfort of her mother’s womb for a decent amount of time, after the designated kick-off hour, the middle one set about beating that record; and she did.

Her eldest sibling could not wait to see her freshly grown baby sister. Her anticipation had been simmering towards fevered excitement and by the time we brought the little one back from the hospital, we expected an eruption of joy. What we got instead was a sudden realisation that her place within the family had been usurped by this pink staring thing that didn’t even make baby noises. Our middle daughter was so unlike our eldest one as she did not scream or yowl at the passing world every single minute of the day.

No, our new daughter remained wide-eyed and apparently zen-like in her appreciation of her newly-found state.

Time flies. It moves with invisible wings across the span of our lives; and then beyond. Now that she is eighteen, she has reached the first stage of being an adult. I think that that means being somebody who is really still a child but is made to pretend otherwise. She is treading into this territory by spending the day revising for her A Levels. Only in the evening will she allow herself to relax, kick-back, and enjoy the moment.

To A Daughter Leaving Home by Linda Pastan

When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving


 Happy Birthday, Kate!

x x x

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