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Posts Tagged ‘Bolton Abbey’

‘That boy can smile, can’t he?’

I’m changing Milo’s nappy and he’s lying on the mat kicking his chubby little legs. He spots the woman behind me and turns on a hi-beam smile.

‘Aye, he’s a charmer.’

This boy’s smile can light up a room. Heck, his smile could light up a muddy field. I don’t quite know how or why Milo is such a cheery, happy baby (‘nothing to do with us,’ said Simon to his childminder last week, ‘both his parents are right grumpy buggers.’). But there he is, giving his mega-watt gummy grin to all and sundry.

Outside, his grandparents sit, sated now that they’ve demolished the giant baked potatoes they ordered for lunch. On the table lie remnants of Milo’s meal: spoons, bib, the rust-coloured smear of pureed vegetables.

The sun is beating down. A river runs past, hills stretch and roll, trees sway gently in the breeze. We’ve clambered over the medieval ruins of a priory, we’ve lit a candle for Milo’s great-Grandma in the adjoining church and I’m about to buy the biggest ice-cream I’ve ever eaten.

And there’s Milo, my boy, smiling. You know, I might go on (and on) about the sleep deprivation but nothing makes me prouder than seeing Milo smile. That he is as happy as he is makes everything worthwhile. I worry about being a good mother; about doing the right thing for him, making sure he has everything he needs so that he can cope with whatever life decides to throw at him. It’s part of the pain and the pleasure of being a parent: this constant, gnawing worry. Will he be OK? Will he be happy? Will he always know how much I love him, how proud I am of him, just for being Milo?

I worry as I walk past picturesque rivers, as I change his nappy, as I take him out on all these day trips and holidays. It’s like a mosquito buzzing in my ear.

‘He could charm the birds off the trees, that one,’ says the woman as she washes her hands.

The birds and the trees, I think, and everything else in between.

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