Signs and wonders on the M1

I am currently appearing in a play out of town. This is something I have not felt able to do since the birth of the beloved daughter as, like Chicken Likken, fearing the sky will cave in at any moment, I have fretted that taking a prolonged working leave of absence from Maison Oberman will result in untold catastrophes.

I have been pleasantly surprised. Mr. O and Princess O have discovered resources that we were all unaware of. For example, macho Mr O can now tell the difference between Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel dressing up outfits, and which accessories go with which.

Princess O (4) can explain the offside rule and sing songs about Eric Cantona for hours. Lovely.

I was musing on this during my drive down the M1 the other day, waiting for The Archers to start and crunching Maltesers. The news headlines were as follows: Disgraced police chief appealing his conviction (crunch); Cameron insisting on NHS reform (crunch); a bomb scare in central London (crunch).

As humans we adapt and mould to our situations

Then the final nonchalantly announced item: NASA's space shuttle Endeavour launched today on its final voyage. The two- week journey to the International Space Station is the last before the shuttle enters retirement. Oh right. (Double crunch).

Turn sound up for Archers. Change lane.

It was at mid Joe Grundy's rant that I nearly pulled on to the hard shoulder.

SHUTTLE. FINAL VOYAGE. INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION.

Whoa! How, as a keen science fiction buff, how was I able to almost ignore a piece of news that sounded like the plot of an Asimov book, or Ridley Scott movie? How on earth had we reached the point where a piece of news like that was deemed meritable for the "and finally" section?

The first shuttle launch was 1977. Since then we have become jaded by its ability to fly back and forth on missions, rather than remaining wide -eyed with admiration.

A few minutes more contemplation and I became rather tearful with wonder at human beings and what we have been able to achieve.

I posed this thought on Twitter and asked for what we do looked at in wonder: "My reflection in the mirror", "telephones", "planting a seed and watching it sprout", "flowers", "air", "growing a baby", "that my husband is still with me", "Tesco online delivery".

As humans we can adapt and mould to our situations and surroundings as a survival tactic, which probably allows us to start taking things for granted. Perhaps by the time Moses brought the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai, the Children Of Israel barely looked up from their tin cups of tea to register the momentousness of the occasion. After all they'd seen ten plagues, the sea parting and manna falling from heaven.

But I will now be taking a moment every day to see the signs and wonders in everything that I have hitherto taken for granted.

Starting with daughter's encyclopedic knowledge of football chants and Mr. O's ability to detangle daughter's hair.

    Last updated: 5:45pm, May 20 2011