Stop the Clock!
So, last month I celebrated ( erm, rather a lot ) turning 40! Actually, I’m feeling surprisingly ok about it, randomly better than turning 30 and inevitably better than turning 70. I spent an amazing weekend with my very best friends in Spain and it was, as predicted – wild, funny and an education all in one – it took me a week to get my voice back. One thing we were all agreed on is that life goes so damn fast. It seems like yesterday we were all at school together, chasing boys and getting the taste for freedom that leaving home for the first time brings. Now I spend my mornings persuading a four year old to go to school. If I can get him out the door with clothes on, I am doing well.
Take Nothing For Granted
So, I had a bit of a moment this week. Woody was sitting at the table swinging his little feet back and forth while eating a strawberry tart and as I bent down to wipe up some crumbs from under the table I stopped and smiled at his little feet. In his stripy socks pulled up tight and his little brown legs sprouting down from his shorts. I was suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of love and pride combined with fear that this precious phase, however difficult at times, won’t last forever.
Ever have days like that?
The baby to school boy transformation seems to have sped by at an unstoppable speed and I want to keep him just like he is forever. “Sorry love it’s just not possible,” I hear you cry! I know, but I had to tell him off again this morning and I hate seeing that little face cry, it’s heartbreaking. It’s like the whole morning builds up to the great crescendo that is being in the car and on time for school and then I come back to a quiet house and think, “Well, that could’ve gone better”. My promise to myself in my 40th year is to try to enjoy every part of the journey with him, even through the tougher days. You know those tough days? Like I hate buttons, I just want my Daddy not YOU kind of days. I will not eat any other food but cake from dawn til dusk. Not forgetting those days when he is asking me what a space launch rocket ZZPP11 or whatever it is does when I don’t even know what it is or how to draw a dodecahedron when I can’t even spell it.
In my 40th year, I’ve vowed that I’ve got to enjoy it all. I’ve got to lap it all up like a greedy cat because, for now my little prince still likes to hold my hand when he walks to school but one day he will only want to hold his wife’s. I’m going to try not to groan like an old toad when he leaps on top of the duvet wanting to snuggle in our bed at 5am every morning and I’m going to gush with pride every time he tells me he loves me so much it’s like there’s magic in the air. I feel so very lucky to have him and for now, he thinks I’m great too.
So turning forty is a mixed bag of emotions, when I look in the mirror I don’t see the young face I once knew looking back at me, with nothing else to plan but what to wear on a Friday night down the pub. I see lines. We’ve all come back from our precious holiday in Spain, ten mothers and wives on the loose, shot back down to earth with a bang to homework, washing, cleaning, working and combining it all seamlessly to earn a glass of sacred fizz on a Friday. We’re all reeling from having lie ins, getting only ourselves ready to go out of an evening and feeling young and free again, even if it was just for three days. Let’s be clear, we love our home lives but it was good to indulge in some ME time together. It is so important to keep your friends close, they remind you of who you really are and help you to enjoy the everyday when it’s all a bit, well, mundane.
Lines and Looks
I’ve been aware since becoming a mum that I’ve aged really fast, I put it down to the 24/7 anxiety and lack of sleep, oh, and possibly being bossed around all day. I could have gone out and got myself a spanking new collection of face creams for my birthday or possibly learnt about facial contouring to take a few years off. The truth is, I can’t be bothered. There’s no amount of Halyuronic acid that can take off twenty years of partying hard or my love of the sunshine, nor a pair of truly magic pants to disguise the baby flab that stops me fitting into a pair of size 8 jeans.
I’ll Drink to That
In my thirties I was always a bit troubled about where I should be or what I should be doing. I always felt like I should be more successful somehow which may be linked to running away to the French countryside, who knows. Suddenly, at 40 it’s all different. Honestly, at 40 I go to bed at night knowing that I do my best for my family every day, that my husband loves me avec or sans flab and that the memories of being with my friends is enough to make me laugh out loud while shopping for pedigree chum in Leclerc. I feel lucky and after all is said and done, I’ve got a new focus. The future is all about the boy. I don’t feel guilty about eating too much cheese or enjoying a glass of wine, who cares. Would I want to be 20 again? Nah, you’re alright, I’m starting to quite like these lines, they tell my little story so far. x