I keep looking out of the window at our washing line, eyeing it suspiciously. Since Saturday, it has hung between two trees in our garden; trees now blooming with white blossom, which fills me with joy. Spring!
The washing line, however, has been bringing me somewhat less joy, and more a feeling of *whispers* getting older. I’ve never had my own washing line before. There’s never been room for one. At our flat in Brixton you couldn’t stretch your arms out horizontally in the kitchen, let alone hang a line anywhere.
The washing line was purchased during a trip to Homebase last Friday evening, where I was happily distracted from thoughts of middle-aged-ness (Homebase! Friday night!! DOOM!) by a phone call from a dear friend telling me she’s pregs. There I was jumping up and down with glee in the lines and pegs aisle. Thank you M for giving me cause to do so, instead of stomping up and down declaring ‘I do not WANT to buy pegs! I am young and I should be in a BAR drinking gin, I am YOUNG!’ etc etc. I tried to make myself feel better by buying a vintage style peg tin, and pastel coloured pegs, but nothing could shake this feeling of washing line woe.
Of course this is ridiculous, it’s a washing line, for goodness sake. It’s so nice to have a garden to give one a home in. But it’s more what it represents. It makes me feel like a sensible, responsible grown-up, which I sort of have to be, given that I am a parent. And of course, washing that has been freshly dried in a warm Spring breeze smells so DAMN GOOD; no amount of ‘Summer Days’ or ‘Lavender Blossom’ or ‘Cotton Fresh’ liquid in a bottle can better it.
Really, beyond the washing line, what we are making here is a home. We *still* can’t quite believe our luck, and Zee toddling around the garden is lovely to behold. Yesterday after nursery (it’s still light! MORE JOY!) I asked him to help me bring the washing in. He clutched the peg tin in his chubby little hands and trotted up the path, exclaiming ‘WasHING! ‘SCHOCKS!’ PEGS! TREE!’. He ‘helped’ me and then it was time to head back in. He clutched the tin again in one hand and reached for my hand to help him down the steps. I was struck by the thought that it’s these moments that make memories; holding hands in the early evening sunshine, my little boy at my side. That washing line and I have years together ahead of us. Z’s little socks and pjs and vests and t-shirts on the line will get bigger, and bigger, and bigger. I will remember the first time he ‘helped’ me with the washing. And I will feel glad, not sad, about it.
Doesn’t mean I can’t still go out in bars though. Girls, ASSEMBLE! All this talk of growing older and doing the washing makes me want a gin.