London is in the throes of springtime, and everything is in bud.
Last year this time, my belly was swelling ever bigger in pregnancy. Now, my son – nearing the seven month mark – grows so fast that he seems almost to lengthen in real time. The milestones storm by: going without a feed through the night; recognizing his name; starting solid foods; rolling from front to back and then back to front (and then halfway across the living room floor before you’ve realized what happened); sitting up; putting toes in the nose. Clothes he once swam in now become too tight to snap up; wave after wave of tiny, over-laundered outfits are carefully folded up and retired forever, with a little niggle of sadness.
I have had the week off, most of which has been spent catching up on sleep after so many deprived months. In the back of my mind, it’s hard to completely let go of the habitual churn of low-level anxiety about my career. Two less congenial milestones approach: discovering whether I’ve made the interview stage of a prestigious fellowship that will save my bacon, and – at the end of August – the termination date of my most recent short-term contract. We’ve been here so many times before, haven’t we, dear reader? This time there are some glimmers of hope and a few schemes under development to keep me in post, so I am not actually as worried as I have been on other occasions. Still, it’s a big unknown and there are no guarantees.
For now, I’m just going to enjoy the promise and endless vitality of this new spring, and all of its wonders, for as long as it lasts.