My babe-in-arms visited at noon, my near-as-dammit 30-year-old baby girl, my one and only. She arrived and left in a large modern car, which - inexplicably - she was driving herself. A company car, which goes with the responsibilities and status of a manager for a major, globally well known, international humanitarian organisation. Unaccountably, she didn't need cushions to see over the steering wheel or bricks on the pedals so her feet could work them.
Several times I looked at her long and hard to check she hadn't got egg on her chin and that her knee sock (always the one, never both, like Just William) didn't need pulling up. Her hair was brushed (it was well beyond brushed - it glowed slickly with a headful of expensive professional highlights), her jeans were clean at the knee, her boots unscuffed. She'd brought cheesecake to go with coffee. Cheesecake from Waitrose, bought with money she'd earned, without even being asked.
She and her b/f (actually he's her live-in partner of almost five years) are flying off to Rome tomorrow to celebrate her actual birthday which is on Saturday. They aren't in a back-packers' hostel, like the student or young graduate she was a decade or less ago would have to be satisfied with, they have booked a suite at a small boutique hotel near the Spanish Steps, prosecco in room on arrival, car with driver from the airport, all arranged by e-mails in Italian which she wrote herself.
A mother could feel wholly redundant, except for one thing, the main reason for her visit, which was to bring over their hamster to board with us whilst they are kicking up their heels in The Eternal City.
So, she may be all growed up, efficient and capable, and a startlingly stunning young woman, but I am again looking after her small pet for her whilst she does something else, just as though she's little again and staying with her grandparents for half term. And I can push away the intervening quarter century, defiantly. If deludedly.
Because, you see, if our offspring really are 100% all growed up, what does that make us?