A [morning after] day in the life
This year, my close group of friends and I have all been taking it turns to celebrate the big one, that milestone we hit where we're officially too far away from our teen's to recall them vividly and much closer to big decisions like children, buying houses and marriage. Scrolling through a Facebook feed has morphed from inebriated statuses and duck selfies to engagement announcements and so many babies. On this particular day in our life, I was waking up after celebrating the Christmas of April (how my friend refers to her birthday) knowing that Martin would be working all day, my parents would be AWOL on a trip up North and that hangover or none, it was just me to entertain these two little boys.
Does anyone find it's the days you build up in your head, envisioning them to be the most difficult, that actually turn out to be some of the best? Those where the universe seems to align and suddenly you realise you've made it through a whole day with minimal shouty voices and angry tears? This day turned out to be one of those days.
I could've quite easily dug into my lazy parenting box of tricks and written this one off as a I swear I'll do better tomorrow', but I imagine somewhere hidden inside was the leftover adrenalin from spending time with my best friends and how a little time away had reset my stress and anxiety levels so that I knew we could do absolutely anything and I could handle it.
I have never taken the boys out alone without at least one of them in a pushchair as I've always held this irrational fear that I will lose one. Ever since pregnancy #2, I've had this vision of a child running in separate directions whilst I stand stock still, figuring out who to chase after first. I know as parents, we all have fears, but my anxiety of needing to know where each child is at all times and not being able to let them out of my sight, without feeling a knot of terror in my stomach, is one I struggle with the most.
However, after a morning of Hot Wheels racing and milk & biscuits, we bundled into the car and drove to our favourite National Trust, Dyrham Park; I planned as well as I possibly could (something that keeps the anxiety at bay) by bringing the entire cavalry of coats to cover each eventuality (it was drizzly, but cold, then warm in the sunshine; the definition of Spring in England), lunch and a backpack and we walked, we played on the park, we ate packed lunches, explored the woods, witnessed the deers up close and had an awesome day.
The boy's surprised me with how well behaved they were, both walking as much as their little legs could carry them, listening before the calls became shrill and that day I felt something I rarely feel; the confidence that I can bring up two kind, respectful boys, that I can take them out alone and enjoy it, and most of all, that I am so freakin' proud of them. On our return, Nanny & Grandad popped round, we had ice lollies and finished up the day in the garden and the next day everything went to sh*t, but hey, that's parenting. ᗒᗜᗕ