It’s been two weeks since H stopped work and without wishing to jinx myself, it’s been pretty brilliant.
We’ve been on adventures (more of which another time), we’ve played lego, been to the park, done some baking, made grape sculptures, drawn and painted to the girls very great content and ever more colourful fingers.
Having H at home has quite simply made life a little more relaxed, a little slower and gentler in pace, and we’re all benefiting from it. He is visibly unwinding as his subconscious slowly gets to grip with the concept that he’s not actually under pressure any more, Pip is getting happier and happier at being left with Daddy, and the girls are just so excited that he’s really really here that too weeks have gone by and they’re only just showing signs of not wanting to sit on him at every available opportunity.
And as for me, well I get to spend all my days with my very best friend.
Sometimes it’s just the little things, like taking H to playgroup with us so that he and Elma can play outside in the Wendy house and the giant slide while Pip and I stay inside so that he can demolish the play kitchen. This week H took Kitty swimming for the first time in months because he could go on a Friday when it’s not crazy busy with big kids, I went to the post office for a 30 second job that did indeed end up taking only 30 seconds, and I pushed him out the front door with his golf clubs to go and spend a bit of time at the driving range just because he could.
Oh, and I got to leave the house. All by myself. For two hours.
It does’t sound like a lot I know but as a mother of three with two nursing children, I don’t get out much without the little ones, and for the most part that’s how I like it. I love being with the children, and being at home the four of us has made some of my happiest memories. But at the same time the non parenting part of my brain is still ticking over. I have so many ideas, ideas for blog posts or for work I want to do when I go back in September, for things I want to pitch, or just adventures I want to have with the children that sometimes it feels overwhelming.
So on Friday afternoon, I settled Pip for a nap, handed the girls to H, packed a bag of notebooks, conference notes, a cactus pen and some awesome post it note ponies that Kitty gave me for my birthday and I went out. To town, to a cafe, and for just under two hours I wrote. Lists, questions that I need to answer later, plans for this summer, plans for the autumn and pages and pages of things I want to remember. Some of them are just a couple of words long, some a sentence or two and there are a few that I could just have kept going and written a whole blog post straight off the bat. It’s all the things that when I sit down in front of the computer late at night at the end of the busy day, I think “oh, I had a really good idea about something; what was it again?”. I’ve emptied out all of the things that run in and out of my thoughts and put them into order, and into a plan.
The time away was wonderful. And not just because I no longer feel like I’m paddling madly under the surface. For the first time in ages I got to stretch my thinking and my creativity, and to enjoy it too. I sorted through the chaos, ate cake that I didn’t have to share, wrote pages and pages in at least three notebooks, and I think I could have gone on and one for hours.
But after two hours I put the pen down. Simply because I really missed them all and couldn’t wait to get home. But I think I might make it a regular event, after all, the cake was very very good!