I took a bit of a break from blogging.
Well, a week, but you know. That felt like A TIME ;)
It wasn’t really an intentional thing: the children went off to their daddy’s, and every time I sat down to write, even if it was about sofas, my sadness poured out in paragraphs of weepy word vomit.
I don’t know why I took their absence hard this time. In the early days of the split I would look forward to time alone, knowing I needed it to catch up on sleep and with friends. But now I just intensely miss my little sidekicks, feeling their absence so keenly. The quiet house makes it really hard for me to work and their empty beds makes it difficult for me to sleep.
When they returned on Wednesday it was joyous. We jumped under my covers, as is our tradition, for huge cuddles and kisses and chats, before normal service resumed and we headed off for swimming lessons.
And I’m grateful for this, even though it’s hard: every time they go away I remember how precious time with them is. We sometimes get so bogged down in the day-to-day, the mundane, the routine, that I forget about making the most of the specialness. The Small Moments: the trips to the supermarket and those swimming lessons or car journeys to school. It’s all so important to us, to me. It makes up who we are and these small but precious little lives we lead.
The ace holiday company Mark Warner have tasked bloggers to come up with their ideal family holiday and I think this is what mine is all about. The Small Moments. Because you can try all you want to relish in the everyday of the school run and the packed lunches but really, there’s nothing like the memories you make on holiday.
Waking up together and watching the sun rise above the horizon (but you know, hopefully not every day #zzz), staying up late to disco dance together in the balmy summer evening heat, reading a book out loud on the beach. Because nobody dances like my three year old, nobody.
Those are the holiday moments that, for me, make my heart skip. We don’t have to be doing anything wild or crazy or even exciting, it’s just the three of us, the sunshine and a whole heap of free time together.
As a single parent, sometimes I feel I miss on the special times a little bit. As main carer it’s my job to get the daily done: doctor’s visits and loads of washing and discipline. I sometimes get jealous that, as daddy gets such limited time with the children, it’s filled with less supermarket trips and naughty steps, more special adventures and outings.
Thinking back to the last break we took together completely sums up the little moments for me. A Bournemouth beach in September, we stuck out the cold with our buckets and spades as we paddled through the freezing shallows. I shivered on a deck chair covered in towels as Elfie and Hux tried to find the spade that Hux had happily buried 10 minutes earlier (we never recovered it: have a go if you dare! You’ll find it within 10 feet of the surf in front of the Sandbanks Hotel ;). It was cold, there were tears, we turned blue… and it was perfect.
Well, it was kind of imperfect, but you know what I mean. It’s the special, fun, small memories, that at home are so-so but on a beach or in an exotic restaurant have you roaring for hours.
We’re heading back to Bournemouth this weekend (what can I say? We love those freezing British beaches!) and I can’t wait to make more memories this way. It’ll be chilly and blowy and most definitely rainy but we’ll strap our wellies on and get digging. And maybe we’ll find that missing spade before you do?
This is an entry to Mark Warner’s Family Ambassador Programme in their Creative Writer category… fingers crossed!!