As you get older and perhaps a little wiser (or in my Dad’s case, sillier, much, much sillier-it can go both ways) you start to realise what really matters in life.
I think having kids can do that to you, that whirlwind of new love for the kid you made merged with the mammoth overwhelming weight of responsibility (no more spontaneity in life is pretty sobering) and puts everything that came before, and after it, into sharp perspective.
You don’t need to have a kid for this I should add. Yay for being wiser without having to borne offspring.
Life experience, travel, pets, nurturing plants, charity work, whatever it is that takes you out of yourself, can be enlightening.
I must add kids have released my inner child again too and I quite possibly have the most fun I’ve ever had in my life now I’ve procreated (hello licence to play on playground swings once more).
My child-free friends vouch that nephews and nieces work equally well for playground fun.
This all got me thinking about all the tiny touching moments that make up the bigger picture, the intricately woven happy-making little things I reflect on right before I go to sleep or if I’m away from the kids, missing them madly, or my zone-out thoughts to more joyous times when I find the children fighting over toys/films/my affection and I need a happy place pronto.
So here, in one small space are those sweet tender moments I want to saviour, to look back on and never forget-
The smell of my childrens’ sweet honey blossom scented skin, the look of wonder in my youngest’s eye as he sees birds sweep overhead.
The love they’ve had for one another from day one.
The taste of mint chocolate gelati from my brother’s Italian restaurant, sharp and sweet all at once, and relived through my youngest, Alexander’s smile.
Or slurping homemade soup making me feel like a Michelin starred chef…
Oliver’s joy at candy floss melting in his mouth at a fairground for the first time. The excitement to discover something so cloud-like to hold and sweet to eat.
The fact Xander never gets bored of playing with crockery and culinary tools! Spatulas beat footballs and trains any day.
The warmth of winter sun on cold noses, desperate for its rays, as we trudge through muddy hills to find white, yellow and purple snowdrops, heads down, in clusters by a lake.
Or beach walks, whatever the weather, waves crashing, footprints in the sand. The glorious Yorkshire coast renews us all.
Hot, almost too hot, decaf cappuccino dusted in dark chocolate cocoa ready and waiting for ceremonious dunking of thick, crumbly oat biscuits and little teaspoons desperate for the hot frothy top.
Bath time, warm white towels fresh from the radiator covering cute olive limbs, and Xander,2 bounds towards his older brother, with these three words, ‘You’re beautiful Oliver’.
Cooking, baking, eating, messing, the moments we create, taste and experiment, the boys on chairs reaching up to the kitchen counter, I and/or Daddy maestros in charge of our miniature sous chefs.
Reading and devouring Julia Donaldson’s every word, now Roald Dahl, and films, so many films I want them to see, starting with those I cherished as a kid, the blueprint of my childhood passed on to my own two sons.
Cushion-cuddling, bouncing, lounging…
Those happy faces
Parklife fun- always the biggest joy at the park I loved myself as a child in Ilkley, by the very same river I played pooh sticks in, the bridge I would dart across gripping my mum’s hand, scared a goblin lay beneath, arriving out of breath at the ice cream van- today one too stands in that same spot.
Retracing my childhood steps through my two boys.
Coming full circle from London to Bristol to Leeds.
Silliness with the man I love, a shared appreciation for ‘Suits’, ‘Family Guy’ and Will Ferrell movies (we recently watched Anchorman again for the 50th time).
Date night, so rare it might need to be renamed as ‘date bi-annual night’ but wonderful when it happens, to be us again, just me and he for a few hours, to eat and talk and remember who we were.
Connecting with girlfriends, laughter, dinner, wine. Support, solidarity, just being ourselves.
Work, this blog and all it brings to my little family, the joy, the experience, the flexible career that works for us all. The shared creative love we have for writing, filming, photographing and documenting our little lives.
Stargazing, the promise of such a big, big world full of possibility made up of tiny, tiny things.
The wonder of it all through new, young eyes, yearning. Always yearning.
These are just some of the happy-making little things of our lives right now.