When I think back on my childhood there are certain events that stand out – family holidays, birthdays and Christmases. But filling in the gaps in between are countless afternoons and evenings spent at the homes of friends of my parents. These are vague recollections, featuring various other children. My brother and I would spend hours tearing around the garden, taking breaks for sustenance in between, before passing out exhausted on a handy couch or bed. These memories represent uneventful weekends over a period years. They are extraordinary ordinary moments.
Last night we had a few friends over for a braai (barbeque for non- South African readers). Of the five couples, four have children and the fifth is expecting their first next year. The ten kids ranged from nine years to five months and for a few splendid hours our garden rang with shouts of delight (and the occasional and inevitable screams of protest).
There’s always a lot to do when one is hosting people and I spent a fair bit of time running around. But in the midst of getting dinner ready I had a realization – our house is going to feature in the childhood memories of this next generation. And that’s kind of awesome!