Mum's the Word

Apple trees and honey bees and anti-bacterial wipes


Middle Child’s birthday and he’s no longer a teenager, yay! What would he like? Is there anything he needs?

Since he’s in Portugal and he’s not big on constant texting – it interferes with contemplation, and posting a running virtual commentary isn’t his style – we’re communicating by Facebook messenger (let’s not talk about mobile phones, it’s too painful).

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“Nah, I have everything I need,” is his response. Hmm. I can’t let his birthday pass unnoticed. No gift, no cake – always that caterpillar – no pausing to remember an arrival so lightning fast there was no time for pain relief? (Though I made up for it with several big puffs when the midwife turned away to measure him. Thank you James Young Simpson, inventor of chloroform anaesthesia, we love you. Hands off Trump, you can semi-claim Alexander Graham Bell I suppose, but Simpson’s ours.)

So, what to post? A quick scan of Middle’s FB page confirms he does have everything – in existential terms anyway. His cover photo is now a bay in the Algarve, waves whipped up by an Atlantic breeze breaking onto an expanse of white sand – imagine Scotland with sunshine and heat.

Further FB investigation reveals sunrises and sunsets with a band of pals, Middle on a plastic seat in a stream, grinning as clear water streams around his ankles, happy dogs with velvety pointed ears tagging along on walks, Middle and others strumming guitars, contented youths from wherever singing and smiling on a hill top, apple trees and honey bees and snow white turtle doves. Very good. I’ll send more anti-bacterial wipes and condoms.

And tea bags, a T-shirt from his brother’s band, black, obviously, chocolate truffle eggs, a drawing pad and pencils, a mini caterpillar cakelet, and a Folio diary with images of spectacular inventions and outrageous contraptions, whimsical flying machines, paper clothing and the like. No matter that the year’s already well under way, so’s Middle Child.

Happy Birthday Middle. n