She tiptoes around the house in the early mornings so that we can have a lie-in: he is welcomed with open arms as he squeals his way into our room no matter how early it is.
She nestles all her belongings for use during the day under a table to keep them accessible yet out of sight: his paraphernalia is strewn all over the house during the course of the day till it is time to tidy up and no one bats an eyelid.
She continually sponges kitchen surfaces to wipe away crumbs and water: when he is seated at the kitchen table he has no qualms flinging bits about on the table itself or down onto the floor.
She has to turn off the television and refrain from watching when he is around because his screen time is restricted: he can have the telly on whenever he needs to be pacified.
When she enters a room, there is a hush and people tend to go quiet at least for a while: when he makes an entrance there is a fanfare of ” Aw! How cute!” to greet him.
This is perhaps the natural state of progression from 2 to 80. How marvellous the spontaneity and rambunctiousness of the toddler and how magnificent the grace and consideration of the elder.
But there is also a darker angle which sometimes fills me with dread. Does one become invisible with time? Is that also natural?
I would like to think not. Maybe no longer on centre stage but still very present and glowing. Like the fierce golden orange sunset or the rusty hues of autumn.
I believe that fearing old age is counter-productive and futile. We must trust that there is beauty even in this phase of life and we always have a choice each time our landscape changes to embrace our new reality and be ready to continue creating our own dance. If one can learn to sit with the calm grace and wisdom that comes with age, that in itself can create a presence.