Today, when I was putting the kids in the car after the school pick up a little old lady was calling something to me from her nearby garden. I went over to her and she said 'I was hoping to see your baby', indicating to the now empty buggy. Now normally, I'm more than happy to show off my children, but this afternoon's pick up had conflicted with David's sleeping and so he was not the most cheerful. So I told her I'd already popped him in the car.
'I had a baby' she said, and proceeded to tell me about her only baby, a baby which while she was pregnant with it was discovered she was sick, needed treatment and had radiation, resulting in her child who is has lived in an IHC residence for a long time by the sounds of it.
'How many children have you got there?' she said, peering through her elderly eyes at my people mover.
'3, a 5 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old'
This is normally where I get the stock standard comment 'You must have your hands full!'
Instead, she said 'Aren't you lucky!' to which it was easy to reply 'Yes, I am'
'And they'll all be such good friends, what a lovely age gap'
She continued to tell me how she couldn't have any more children after her son, there were tears in her eyes. It made me realise just how lucky I am.
She was standing holding a rake, she'd just been doing work in her immaculate garden. I complimented it and told her she reminded me of my grandmother, who spends a lot of time thinking about her garden and not as much time as she'd like working in it now she's getting older. I mentioned how it must be gardens that keep people so young.
She said to me, 'Well, how old do you think I am?'
Now, this is a tricky question isn't it!
So I replied, 'Well, my grandma is 92, and you must be younger than that'
And she smiled and proudly said 'Oh no I'm not! I'm 96'
Anyway, we had a few more wee snippets of conversation, and then I realised that the kids were in a hot stuffy car and I really should take them home. But I couldn't help but think what a lovely old lady and yes, how lucky am I to have 3 quite wonderful children.
And I'm going to try and park there again, just so next time she can check out my 'baby' (who is 1 now!) and I can say hello and admire her garden a bit more.
And next time someone says 'You must have your hands full!' I'd love to be able to respond with something positive like 'I wouldn't change a thing', because I wouldn't.