Thats me. Survivor of the epidemic that appears to have spread like wildfire through our house. Nothing serious. Well actually depending upon your view point it might be the most serious thing that ever could happen to you. Lurve - thats what I'm talking about. Cupids arrow. The mysteries of the heart. The communion of two souls. All that stuff.
Youngest was first to show symptoms. She announced yesterday evening that she was in love with Oliver. Not only that but she would be marrying him in the summer under the tree in the playing field at school. I was invited but I would need to wear a pretty dress which would need to be bought specially for the occassion - clearly my current wardrobe is not deemed to be up to scratch. Even more importantly Oliver WAS NOT aware of this plan and nor was he aware of the fact that that THERE WOULD BE KISSING. Under no circumstances was I allowed to reveal this information to Oliver - not a hard promise to keep since I am by no means certain exactly which small boy he is in the class of seven year olds which youngest is in.
Disconcertingly eldest is also showing signs of having been infected. When she snuggled next to me on the sofa last night her mobile phone came too. Whilst that may not be unusual for a lot of twelve year olds it is distinctly odd for eldest. She has an almost unnatural reluctance to switch her phone on which I can't really explain other than some desire to preserve the limited life force of the phone. I swear that I have explained that batteries can be recharged and everything but she really doesn't seem to want to believe me. Anyway phone came to sofa too. And low and behold .....messages were received and sent. More than that, potential messages were checked for even when they weren't there. All became clear when I saw the new screen saver. Picture of friends had been banished and replaced with "I heart Harry". This is where it all starts I thought.
I remember the intoxicating adrenaline rush of my first love. We didn't have text in those days. We were both 11. He was called Stephen and sent me a valentine card. I gave him piggy backs in the playground. It was a summer love. Short, intense, built on a shared appreciation of a certain type of bacon flavour crisp which you can't buy anymore. It didn't last of course. But it was so innocent and sweet and intense.
I almost felt envy but not quite. My heart has been through enough. I'm not sure I would have the strength to start again from the beginning again.