Once upon a time I used to buy birthday presents for my friends. First it was Barbies or dolls house furniture. Later on I'd make their presents by hand; pine picture frames covered with sea shells, or smooth pebbles painted with a poem.
Then the dolls houses we'd once furnished became real houses, newlywed apartments. I collected towels and rugs in Ikea, for pre wedding showers. I selected tablecloths and cookery books, for preparing husbands' suppers.
I stocked up on presents during the sales. They stayed on my top shelf though. What was needed by now was baby outfits, for the newborns. Weekly browsing became part of my routine, in Baby Gap and Golf Kids.
By now it's the second round. The first batch of babies are already toddlers. My friends' stomachs are again getting rounder; the invitations to Brits are reappearing. This time I'm prepared. I have a reserve of baby grows and rattles, ready for when I need them. No need to rush to a store when I hear the happy news.
It's a new way to measure my life, reflected in the gifts I buy. Time passing, life progressing. Progresing for others. Pity I'm still at the birthday present stage.
1 week ago