Adulthood did not kick off to a great start for Grown-up Son. He tumbled in the back door after school, hot and bothered, with the news that he had crashed his bike. Again.
‘Is your bike alright?’ As the words came out of my mouth and travelled through the air to his appalled ears, I knew I should have inquired after my first born’s welfare before that of his bicycle. The thing is…I could SEE that he was in one piece and this flipping bike of his has cost a fortune because we’ve had to replace the gears twice already after previous calamities. But yes, it was his birthday and I should have been nicer.
‘Do you want a cup of coffee?’ I suggested, by way of amends.
He changed his clothes and came back to the kitchen, leaning comfortably against the cooker and giving me a run-down on his day.
Now, I love nothing better than when he spills his day out over a cup of, but…did you notice what I said in the previous sentence? The bit that went ‘against the cooker’?
‘Ow,’ he murmered, quite calmly. And then less calmly.
‘Ow, Ow, Owwwwww!’
Yes. He was on fire. Flames shot up from the bottom of his t-shirt to the back of his head.
I didn’t think. Not a single thought. I balled up the back of his t-shirt in my hands, he wriggled out of it and I tossed it in the sink. Ten seconds and it was all over. His back and my hands were a little bit sore but nothing serious. Mind you, I was shaking like a leaf for half an hour and I don’t think we ever got the coffee.
Life. You can’t rely on it, can you? He got a neat hair cut a few days ago because he was asked to form a guard of honour at a funeral. If he’d still had his curly mop, it probably would have caught fire.
Daffodils, mind you, daffodils you can rely on.