I am walking down the street. James is about 4 baby steps ahead.
He turns to me and smiles. ‘Mummay, get me, get me’. ‘Mummy is too tired to run’. ‘I’ll get you Jim Jam’, shouts Pete.
We reach the park and I fall into a heap in the soft grass. ‘Mummay, get me, get me!!’. ‘Mummy, just needs a minute sweetheart’
Swings and roundabouts, climbing frames and slides. Being thrown in the air to that point where you think you’ll never get back down to earth again.
A slow slope down the hill where cold drinks and crisps await.
We reach the top of the stairs, it seems like I’ve reached a summit. An accomplishment each time I reach the front door.
You take a step in and it happens.
‘We need to go to hospital, there’s not much time. Lets drop James at Giu’s, like we rehearsed’
‘Really? You sure?’
Time flies passed as though it’s going to a soundtrack. Hours are condensed to 3 minutes.
Sweaty beads are mapping your body, pooling in crevices.
‘C’mon, 3 more and she’s here’
She’s is indeed here. A carbon copy of her brother. The wrinkle in the hand that comes from 9 months immersion in water. The puffy pinkness of skin next to your own tender, weary flesh.
A look up and glimpse of a big brother charging through the ward, coming to assert dominance and query love.
But before he has chance, people are rushing, he’s picked up in a sea of people.
Frantic, everyone is frantic.
Alarms are going off, the girl is grappled from me by an unknown face.
‘There’s been a mistake, she is not for you’
‘She is mine, I’ve had her, SHE IS MINE!’
I’m pulled back by wires all of a sudden, as if I’m being attacked by electrical appliances.
‘Tell them she’s mine’ I beg ‘I need my girl’.
But instead I’m flung on the bed which is now being dragged backwards and it all fades to black.
Moments later I’m hovering, I’m watching myself.
A body, scarred by child birth, cancer, overindulgence.
It takes a minute and I realise. I need to wake up.
The rapid shallow breathing, summon dizziness. Those pool of sweat are real.
And so it goes.