I know it feels like we’ve been in January forever, and 2012 was a million years ago. But did you see this? I dunno why it makes me cry like an idiot. It’s a video about Google searching, for heaven’s sake. I just think I’m a sucker for an inspirational music montage (I was born in the eighties, after all).
I watched like everyone else, with my breath caught, when Felix Baumgartner jumped out of his balloon in October. It was only yesterday that I remembered his mother on the ground, watching him spin out of control. I bet she had time to wish, more than once, that little Felix had just wanted to be a freaking train driver instead.
I thought about that yesterday, because yesterday I realised we live in a house of stunt jumping. We clock in another injury every day. How about Wednesday, when I was bending over the waste-paper bin in our room, and turned around to find Henry hurtling off the bed, inexplicably tangled up with a stool, like Harry and Voldemort plunging off the topmost tower in each other’s arms? That one was worth a forehead bruise and a bleeding toenail. Or, yesterday, when I was vacuuming up endless pine needles and put one of the dining room chairs up on the table to get underneath it? Henry was on the other side of the room, on the sofa, reading a book. Five seconds later he was under my elbow, squalling about the huge and angry chair-shaped dent he’d left in his head. I cried harder than he did about that one.
Because I couldn’t possibly have stopped it, and it happens all the time. Because I’ll be the parent waiting in A&E every other month, and it’ll be my boy falling out of trees and breaking his arm and bloodying his nose on the playground floor.
Some days, I feel grey with the strain of it. Most days, I’m glad for him. He is brave enough to leap when there’s nothing to catch him, and fascinated by how everything works. I hope he keeps his curiosity. I hope he’ll always be brave enough to jump.
Though, if it’s all the same to you, I’d rather it weren’t from a balloon.