I am walking along Smithdown Road in Liverpool, not long before I’ll be turning left up my own street, when I see them all. Five figures in an undulating line across the pavement, walking towards me. Apart from the Mum figure nearest the road they look like they’re walking in age formation, the youngest holding her hand, then in steadily increasing ages towards the eldest, no more than ten years old I’d say, walking next to the wall, nearest to the shops.
From a distance they all seem to be talking at once. But as we pass, the Mum contracting the line of them slightly to let me through on the outside, the notes of their conversation separate into this moment of the purest love and happiness:
“Mum cautions 4 small & excitable boys on Smithdown ‘Don’t waste your money!’ ‘Chips & sausages is never a waste!’ chortles the eldest, to general approval.”
Soon afterwards I turn left up the slight hill to home, smiling inside at this.
The next morning, a Sunday, I wake up early still remembering. From all of yesterday, the miles I walked, the people I passed, the snatches of conversation I half heard, the precious moment seems worth the remembering, more than worth the writing down.
I did write my overheard moment on Twitter during the Saturday evening, to general approval. Then this morning decided to write it down here too. So the moment of love and happiness is remembered for a bit longer.