There is a way things were done in my house before Lily was born. Everybody lived their separate lives in their separate ways; we were in our own bubbles, seldom colliding except at the daily meal times when we all met in the kitchen to collect respectively dished plates of food,muttered a greeting to whoever was in the small room at the time, cracked a mild joke,and retreated to our enclosures.
There was a dining table – which received a weekly dusting activity.
We were more like housemates with hardly anything else in common than a home address, than individuals who had the same blood coursing through their bodies. We were all sure we loved each other, but nobody really volunteered to demonstrate that love.
Holidays like Christmas or other memorablecelebrations saw us in the only unoccupied room in the house,sitting around the aged plastic Christmas tree, on the carpeted floor, telling tales of the family past and jabbing at each other. That was how the Harts lived.
The 6th of July was my father’s birthday. That day was an exception to the pattern we all played out our activities in line with.
4 years ago,as usual, we all wore matching clothes on July 6,and found our way to the karaoke bar we frequent once every year. My mother got to the mike,heavily pregnant and the least tipsy of us all, to sof the our ears with her angelic voice on an Elton John number. It was,as usual,mesmerising. She got to the table, grinning broadly at the awed, applauding listeners,just as her water broke. Seven hours and so many contractions later, Celiac Hart was born.
TO BE CONTINUED….