Macs and Millions

Sometimes, when the children were younger, we’d sit around a table, usually when we found ourselves out at a restaurant, so it was rare, and we’d each imagine having a million pounds and what we’d each buy the others.

My children always used to say they’d buy me a Mac laptop. Whoever went first, for we quoted our million pound shopping list one by one, would grab the Mac for mum so that the next sweet child to reel off their imaginary shopping list was always a little stuck as to what to buy me.

I suppose partly because that’s what they’d have bought themselves, instead of the refurbished falling apart laptops their mother got them. Or because the laptops that had been handed down to them by their mother were falling apart and needed refurbishing.

But mostly because that’s all their mother seemed to do: write and raise kids.

I suppose I wanted one because they looked sleek and light – Macs – and were popped open by cool people and never seemed to run out of battery power.   I suppose I wanted to be a young, lean, lithe thing in a coffee shop tapping away at a Mac’s keyboard, the bright apple on the rear of her screen illuminated.

And then last Christmas Ant bought me a Mac. He doesn’t have a million pounds but he bought me one anyway and all the children were involved in the secrecy of buying it and bringing it out to me in Africa. And I opened it on a verandah surrounded by all of them, with their breath held, and I burst into tears. It was as if this make-believe world of millions had briefly morphed for real. A game had aced.

And now I tap away at it and marvel at it’s lightness and how the battery power goes on and on and I think of the little team that conspired to bring this technological wizardry, this thing of neat engineering, to my very, very untidy desk which is littered with photos and bits of paper and pencils, and I smile. 

Every time.

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