At 41 I gave birth. I also acquired a donkey to carry my four- year-old to her school in the next village. The locals approved - the next village is a 30-minute uphill walk and my daughter is much loved and cossetted.
A year of nappy-changing and muck-raking later, I find myself barely able to lift the baby on to the saddle, let alone her sister. It is now I who slouch, zombie-like, on the saddle, in full view of the village, while my loudly complaining, but perfectlyfit, five-year-old leads the donkey to school.
In London I could doubtless find a "Mothers Against Walking" group to sympathise; here I'm thinking of crinkling up my face and dying my hair white to quell local disapproval by portraying a semblance of the age I currently feel.
I know there are tremendous compensations. In five years time, when this fog lifts, I'll remember what they are.
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