The Super Species

fullsizeoutput_12adI cannot imagine a life without children. They arrive whenever they feel it’s time and shoot off when they’re done. In the meantime, everything you have is theirs and that not only includes run of the mill stuff like food and hair gel, but also your time and the interior recesses of your brain. We put a lot of work into our kids and during those years I remember the envy I felt if someone had a kid who slept, or a child who could be left anywhere and didn’t cry. But they grow, and we grow, and before you know it you’re thinking it’s been a bit quick and who said it was such a wonderful thing to have all this free time and no-one to fill it up with? This is where you realize your children are not dumb. When they leave home they begin their quest for the super species, designed to fill in any gaps a parent may have. In my circle, the super species is known as a grandchild. I have five. Girls every one of them and they are all different. I have grandchildren who ride horses, and others who are so swift on a scooter they’re like a streak of light. They run, they swim, they dance, they spend hours choosing clothes and doing their hair. Or baking and making dinners.  Their hair colour varies, their little noses and chins are different and all that holds them together are the fragile bonds of sisterhood and a shared bit of knotty old stuff called love.  It was 5 months before we saw our first granddaughter in the flesh. I will never forget squished in the backseat of the car from the airport with her beside me strapped into that puzzle of belts and buckles known in the game as a car seat. She turned her little five-month-old head and stared at me all the way home.  She’s now stretching the string a bit but thankfully at the other end we have one still learning to talk so we’ve got a ways to go before we run dry. The awesome thing about the super species is that nothing gets in the way. We don’t have to make sure they have a balanced diet and we really don’t care when they go to bed or if they’ve cleaned their teeth. What we want is time to read stories aloud, hear about their friends and their teachers and sit holding them until they fall asleep in our arms.  That nasty Covid 19 has ruined a few of my catchup visits and probably Christmas visits as well, but this week in the mail I got a letter that I’m very sure would have softened every postal workers heart from here to Australia. Who said, what price love? $AUD3.30


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