|Safe in our bubble|
But that is the trade-off when you have children. Any appetite for risk diminishes almost overnight. I love that scene in the Paddington film when groovy Mr Brown drives his pregnant wife to the maternity hospital on a motorbike and then picks her up the next day in a new Volvo estate. Safety first, wildly fulfilling life second.
Catching of happiness
The dynamic will shift eventually as our children turn into thrill-seeking teenagers (my seven-year son is already telling me that his life is too boring) and we parents make one last-ditch attempt to rediscover our youth. In a rather sad indictment of our current circumstances, both my husband and I admitted we were looking forward to retirement the other day, if only because of the freedom it promised us!
But until my rip-roaring retirement comes around, I shall seek excitement in the minutiae of daily life and give thanks for my ordinary existence. Safe in my bubble, I can watch my children grow and take succour from relationships with friends/family. The poet Philip Larkin, always so adept at celebrating the ordinary, expressed it rather better in a poem for the daughter of his friend, Kingsley Amis. "May you be ordinary," he told the newborn girl.
In fact, may you be dull -
If that is what a skilled,
Catching of happiness is called.
('Born Yesterday' for Sally Amis.)
FURTHER READINGCollected Poems by Philip Larkin
Poems that range in tone from the scurrilous and satirical to the sentimental. Larkin exhibits a knack for elevating ordinary experiences through poetry.