I’ve pinned the ultrasound photos of the approaching child to the corkboard in our kitchen. It’s the very first thing we’ve pinned there for some time. We acquired it shortly after we moved in, pondering it might be a spot for us to maintain lists, or vouchers or essential notices.
As soon as it acquired stuffed up, we simply stopped utilizing it as a result of we’re deeply unserious folks masquerading as adults and, in equity, when our son was born we surrendered to chaos a bit extra freely than earlier than. Now it stands as a fossilised relic of the issues and appointments we had been confronted with between April and September, 2018.
There are inscrutable notes, written with nice haste about essential issues, now indecipherable. There’s the EKG printout from that point I referred to as 111 about my dangerous again and so they managed to persuade me I used to be having a coronary heart assault and despatched some moderately unimpressed paramedics to our home. There’s a reward voucher, itself three years outdated, for a Spanish restaurant that went out of enterprise in the course of the first lockdown. all these items now provokes the identical melancholy tinge of these web site images from Pompeii; complete streets excavated to search out folks locked in an arbitrary second in time, buried underneath volcanic ash, however nonetheless sitting upright at desks, or churning butter, or inspecting the use-by date on their tapas vouchers.
Beneath that’s the ultrasound we acquired for our son, 4 years in the past. It has decayed over these years, blown out by publicity to the kitchen window, in order that his tiny, spongy type, as soon as clear, is now scribbled and scratched past all recognition. Its edges have curled up like a Cornetto wrapper, as if melted by creeping lava.
Beside them, the ultrasounds of his sister, that are sharp and clear and model new, look like they’re from a future age. It’s a stark, barely bittersweet marker of how a lot time has handed. At a look, it appears as if we ordered our first child on VHS, however switched to Blu-ray for the subsequent.
And simply to the left of that there’s an much more putting artefact. A single sheet of notepaper marked GRAB LIST, which particulars every thing we had been imagined to convey to the hospital 4 years in the past. On it I’ve written READY, as if this record is in its last, good type and proves our preparedness for every thing that got here after.
It’s a touchingly naive doc of the second simply earlier than our son was born, since its contents communicate to a extra harmless concept of what these few days in hospital could be like. I clearly presumed listening to music could be an enormous concern, as I’ve written audio system twice. This time now we have no seize record, and the Bluetooth audio system will possible keep at residence. We all know that the volcano is coming, a minimum of. We simply not faux to be prepared.
Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? by Séamas O’Reilly is out now (Little, Brown, £16.99). Purchase a replica from guardianbookshop at £14.78
Observe Séamas on Twitter @shockproofbeats