Yesterday I had a mummy day off mid week. Yes I know, crazy stuff right? My wonderful mother agreed to take over my school runs so that I could take off for the day to visit my lovely sister-in-law and my five week old niece Essie (plus the rest of the brood). I love travelling on the train. I really love travelling alone. Plus I really, really enjoyed reading a book. I have been struggling to re-engage with reading for a long time, not helped by my Instagram and Pinterest and general iphone fiddling obsession. My attention span is officially zero and I can no longer blame breastfeeding or sleep deprivation, it is now quite simply lack of practice. So I promised myself on my journey to and from Liverpool that I would not fiddle with my iphone and people I did not, I just read and it was bliss. It would be the norm for me to pick a biography or autobiography but my dear friend Legsley (cake maker extraordinaire) bought me a wonderful set of books for my birthday in March that I am only now delving into. I would of course mention which set of books they are, however as a recovering reader I am still quite slow and I fear some spoil sport revealing endings and so for now, my lips are sealed!
Today I have been making cards. I am beginning to build up stock of both canvases and cards and will be looking at outlets for selling these. It's time for me to be a little more ambitious I think. Whilst sitting at my desk card making today, I quietly reminisced about my time spent with my sis and brother-in-law yesterday which was delightful! They took me for a fabulous moroccan meal and it was so much fun all three of us digging into our sharing plates, laughing and catching up. It was with great delight also that I, a very proud Aunty, rocked my little Essie to soothe her whilst her mum and dad ate their meal -whilst still hot, as I remembered all those cold meals and interrupted meals from years gone by with my own little ones. I also thought today of my brother-in-laws gripping and hilarious story describing his friendship with someone from his uni days many years ago, someone edgy and possibly psychotic that my dear brother-in-law hung out with as if all was well! (my b-i-l is one of those great 'calm' people!) This story began as I stepped into the car when brother-in-law picked me up from the station, it continued through our ten minute journey and into the time it took for him to make me a cup of tea. He is a very funny guy and a great storyteller and he really made me laugh! I feel giggly whenever I think about it! Then there was my lovely sis who it was just so lovely to see looking so happy with her longed for fourth child, looking utterly devoted and stunning and 'yummy mummy-ish'! I got to see Essie's older siblings, my beautiful nephew and two nieces and had a wonderful walk home from school with them. My heart flutters as I remember the girls taking my hand in theirs so we could walk along hand in hand, it flutters again when I think of the flower and bud that they picked for me that I admired later on my train journey when I found them in my coat pocket! I've thought of my brilliant nephew and his giggling triumph at managing to attach some green foliage as an appendage to my backside unbeknownst to me! I love that boy, just my kind of humour! As if this family enrichment was not enough, when I returned home at 8pm I snuck upstairs to those boys of mine who had already been tucked up in bed for half an hour, the welcome I received was one of pure love, deep and unconditional! Radiant smiles, big big squeezes and high pitched exclamations of 'Mama'. It had been exactly 12 hours since I had seen them last and that on a school day is virtually unheard of which is why their welcome came with an urgency that implied a separation that was much greater.
I have been thinking about family a lot today. I had my eldest sister on my mind, we have been trying to find a window to meet up for about three weeks, unsuccessfully until today. How strange it is when life becomes so busy that to see your sibling who lives in the same area as you becomes a struggle, you know between work and school runs and shifts and play dates and all of that stuff we end up doing. When we were kids we always talked about how we would see each other all of the time, that we would live near. Never would we have guessed that it would be so much more complicated. I sat staring at my big sis today, proudly admiring how beautiful she is. Staring in wonder at that pregnancy glow and that beautiful, brown swollen belly of hers ... the one that looks so much as my own did. I smile at seeing this pregnancy mirror and finally understand all the heightened emotions that used to fall from her when she she was witnessing my pregnancies. Family is so complex, with one feeling so much part and apart at times and sometimes all at once. However, today's reflection is one of gratitude for my loved ones, one of feeling blessed for feeling very much part of a great and complex family.
|My bro & sis-in-law, bit of a blurry shot but they're so cute I had to add it!|