Monday 2 November 2009

My Birdies Have Flown for updates on the exhibition on End Of A Life for my website

Oh My Birdies Have Flown. Today my youngest Birdie turns 13 and is no longer 12 Year Old Son. He is at school. I put my Furious 16 Year Old Birdie on the train to college in London even though he just wanted a quiet life and to stay here and my 19 Year Old Birdie flew off with her Grandmother on Saturday.

So what I am trying to say, I think, is that My Babies Are Growing Up.

This weekend, we celebrated Alan's birthday, and 12 now 13 Year Old Son's birthday. I had my wonderful cousin and two of her children to stay from Thursday, and on Friday we had 13 for dinner, to celebrate Alan's birthday. (The chief Exec is a Year Older). Being a no fuss kind of fellow we had fish and chips and big loaves of white bread and butter. Fab. And there was a big chocolate birthday cake to finish off with. After we had all eaten our fish, chip and buttie supper, like Desparate Dan after eating his Cow Pie, we all sighed and said "F'lup"

We cleared up just in time for the Saturday when a further 15 or so joined us for lunch to celebrate Son's birthday. That meant Sausage and Curley Chips and possibly 400 million packets of crisps. Adults had a few salads to help them with their consciences as the main menu was stodge and fat followed by fried fatty sugary stodge with knobs on. Pudding was two birthday cakes 16 Year Old Son made which were very yummy.

Then, lo, it being 31 October, we had to get the Halloween stuff out for the youngsters who needed another party, it being a few hours since lunch. It was done, and cobwebs and insects and pumpkins and candles appeared downstairs. At this point I no longer knew who was staying and who wasn't. Hey Ho, I said to myself, Such Are Birthdays. The last time I looked there were about five teenagers sleeping in the loft, up the rickety ladder from just outside my room to the roof space where only teenagers and fugitives would feel happy.

I do have a lot of family. I have a lot of aunts and uncles, and so an amazing amount of cousins. They all have children now, and for only a few cousins to come with their children means Party Time. Add to that my own three brothers, my sister in law, my nephews and nieces, my parents and Alan and his son and son's girlfriend, and me and my three kiddies (birdies) and it is Outdoor Festival Time.

Now it is Monday morning. The house is still here. I am still here. I have cleaned and tidied after the last of the cousins left yesterday, and my Birdies have Flown to their various Places and I am alone. Two in the weekend festivities are a year older, and all of us are 8 stone heavier.

It is truly wonderful to be alone again in my studio. I loved my week and weekend. I love that my Birdies are all teenagers now, I love that throughout the Saturday afternoon and evening Alan sat benignly and happily watching American Football while the Party Raged Around Him. And later, we adults sat with him under the cobwebs and spiders and watched the X Factor.

Well. I am not a sentimental mother. But I do have little moments of sadness sometimes, when I think of how fat and happy and funny my big fantastically independant teenagers once were, and how it was easy to distract them at sticky moments with OOh Look! A Lorry! Whereas now they have an answer for everything and much more knowledge of their Rights and think I was born fully formed as I am now, sometime Before Christ, and have no idea of Real Life at all. My Birdies are Growing Up and I am watching them change and grow before me, and just for a little while today when they are at schools and colleges and work, it feels as if they have flown.

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