I am 41 today. As I have been exploring in recent posts, I am feeling my age.
I was in a school last week and, visiting a classroom, the principal asked whether any of the children had any questions for the visitors. The principal pointed to an enthusiastic hand waving child. The child looked at me and said “I want to ask that lady a question.” I smiled in encouragement, “What would you like to ask?” “How old are YOU?” “Why thank you for asking, I’ll be 41 next week, how old are you?” “Six.”
Later in the yard, I saw an older child looking after a younger child who had cut his knee. “Shouldn’t a teacher be doing that?” I asked the principal. “That IS a teacher,” he replied.
Meanwhile, at home Mr. Waffle had the boiler checked. The immediate consequence of this was that the heating wouldn’t work that evening. We called the boiler checking man and Lloyd (really, Lloyd?) left his partner and family and came immediately to our aid. I opened the door to a young person not entirely unlike the child in “Up”. “Hello,” he said, “I’m Lloyd.” “Hello,” I thought “you’re 12, are you allowed to fix our boiler?” Apparently, he left school six years ago. Even if he left school early, he must be at least 22. Is this what 22 year olds look like?
My mother, however, has not been concentrating. “I couldn’t find a card to send you, cards for 40th birthdays are all dreadfully vulgar.” “Mum, I will be 41!” I said. “Will you really?” she replied. You would think that she, of all people, might remember.