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D is for Different

Today is my fortieth birthday. It might just be me, but when I was a kid, I never once thought about what it would be like to be this age. I could imagine being in my twenties, and all the milestones of life you think you’re probably going to achieve by the time you’re thirty, but after that it all feels like some distant fog that won’t really matter because you’ll be really old by then.

The first time I thought about turning forty was on my thirtieth birthday. We had hired a hall so we could have a party and I was setting up tables and things and looking at my brood of crazy boys running around, trying to make sure they didn’t lead the youngest one out into the car park. I remember a very distinctive flash of the future suddenly passing through my thoughts, and I held onto it for a moment. I imagined what it would be like to do this again in ten years time.

I started at the thought that my oldest boy would almost be an adult by then. What on earth would it be like to be a mother to an …

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