Earlier, I was having a conversation via email with a shop assistant (who I actually believe exists). Less a conversation, more of a rant. Says I, ‘I’m one click away from putting my items back on the virtual counter and walking out the door.’ Clever I thought. But it left me cross. ‘I can’t get to the shops’, I idled whilst doing the breakfast washing up. Of course I tried to enter my voucher code I think as I whip open the toddler’s yoghurt pot. How many more shopping days do I have until Christmas if I shop online I wondered as I changed the baby’s nappy.
I have tried three times to bake a christmas cake. On the third attempt the head of a little boy who, this year, is able to see over the counter top arrives at my side. Can you help? And so my to-doing and fretting on Christmas shopping, virtual or otherwise, is put aside. There, by my side, is someone who is slicing glaze cherries for the first time. I realize that this is his first whiff of the heady smell of cinnamon, whiskey and dark fruit combined. A flash of me as a six year old at my mother’s white Kenwood Chef and I see it with him. These are his memories. He’s soaking it all up. An advent calendar thrown thoughtlessly into the shopping trolley is a new tradition for him. The chocolate that he’ll find behind a tiny number, a joy.
I’m reminded of our native Yeats on love and dreams whereon he tells us to tread softly when you tread on someone’s dreams. These little men of mine are busy making memories. Earlier’s virtual argument bears no fruit. And so as I tread over their memory banks, I remind myself to go softly, ever so softly.