I lay awake catching those five, extra minutes as my husband wakes up our son and I savour the moment of quiet before the little one charges in and jumps in bed with me for some early morning kisses and cuddles before the cartoons go on...
"Mummy will you be around forever...?"
"What do you mean ...forever? "
"Like, until I die?"
"I hope so...! Yes darling ...!" I add defiantly (whatever will make him happy - he's four and a half years old and doesn't need to know any more information than this - not yet anyway).
As I lay there by his side, I think and I pray that I will at least be here until he's old enough to understand fully and hopefully has the tools to deal appropriately with such things as the death of a loved one ... and hopefully I will have done my job well until then.
Often I ponder the meaning of life ... it could even be said that often is an understatement. I regularly find myself digging around in my mind, observing, reading, questioning, trying to figure out what 'the' or indeed 'a' real meaning or point of life is? Not wanting to be morbid or heavy or anything - just a burning curiosity. Something I've never really been able to shake off or get away from, an itch that I can't scratch... a constant search and investigation. I don't let it interfere or hinder my enjoyment of the moment and present day life at all, no - though the question remains there at the back of mind until I next return to it.
For the first time, as I lay in bed with my son snuggled up next to me, asking me such questions - I feel I've come the closest that I ever have to understanding this million dollar question and finding a kind of answer, at least one for me anyway, that satisfies my thirst.
Amongst many other things naturally - like looking after the planet, the world, using our ever-increasing knowledge to improve life, well-being, our existence, the existence of the planet and a wealth of related matters, I now feel I have my own conclusion. And that is key, it's 'my own' which is all I was ever looking for. I don't believe there to be a right or a wrong answer, equally I believe each person can decide their own 'meaning to life' - I just hadn't quite found mine yet, or nothing nearly satisfying enough anyway. Until now that is, where I believe it to be about bringing up our offspring - teaching - loving - caring - educating - providing a home, warmth and security, raising them so that they may go on to do the work of maintaining the world and all of its' creation in the best possible way.
"Why do you ask darling?"
"Because I love you mummy and I want you with me always"
So that's it for me - as I reflect on these words, this tiny little conversation with this tiny little person, I realise that's it. To create life and to nurture it!