I love being in my 40s, there’s a wisdom and a new found I don’t give a fuck what you think of me attitude to how I live my life, which wasn’t there in my 20s (and certainly not in my teens). I’m still young and fit enough to enjoy life even though wrinkles have started their long march across my face. But forty is also when you realise you’re not immortal and the friends you’ve had for 20 or even 30 years don’t last forever. That parents get sick and die, and being a grown up is really responsible. I’ve realised I’m now the same age that my parents were when I first made beautiful friendships that I thought would last forever. Some of those precious friends have vanished. And I thought I’d find other friends who shared their humour and energy and spirit, but those people are rare. And my darlings have gone forever. Sometimes I hear a piece of music and I think of lovelies I shared my life with. I think of my friend whose name is now on the AIDS quilt, he died so young. And I think of the times we spent lying in his bed reading to each other, sharing authors we thought were fantastic. And listening to music that we loved. And sending postcards to each other from far away places because the internet wasn’t invented. And I realise that when you’re 40 you really do understand that life can be a bloody bitch and that is why we must laugh and dance and joke and sing and be as mad as cut snakes and tell each other again and again that we love each other before it is too late. Because love can’t wait.
Just when I think single motherhood is too crazy and I want to take them back to the pet shop to get a refund, I get this card from my 7 year old:
My mummy is so nice unique and pretty
Mummy I love you
Mummy I never want you to go away
You are the best mummy in the world
I did not pay her to do this. In the stressed out, overworked world of single motherhood we sometimes forget about the joy of mothering and that all the little tedious tasks of being a mother on your own add up to a lifetime of love and care for your children. So I’d like to pay tribute to all the solo mothers I’ve met, you inspire me with your hard work, dedication and devoted love. You are all yummy mummies.