So it’s December and with Christmas just around the corner I decided to bite the bullet and get into the loft this morning to dig out the tree and decorations whilst the children were out at school and visiting family. The dreaded unveiling of the family decorations left me with a lump in my throat and a pair of super sharp scissors in my hand as I sliced open the boxes to unveil the fairy lights and trinkets.
Everything I have, everything I’ve collected and handmade is in sets of four; four stockings with our names embroidered, four gingerbread men, four smiling faced baubles, four, four, four, four, but now we’re a three. The Christmas cards arrive on the door mat addressed to ‘Tracy, Millie and Gabriele’ and it looks so alien to see our names written in such a way when it had almost become as mundane as a signature to sign our four names on every letter and card we gave and received, but now it’s just us three, and it looks strange. I sat staring at the cards and trinkets like a dog tilting its head to one side in confusion trying to understand its owner. What do I do? Do I throw one of everything away? Do I wrap it up and post it back to somebody who no longer wants it? Or do I tuck it away and hope that one day I’ll meet a number four? I packed it away, and then drank a bottle of wine or two as I hung the rest of the decorations very merrily. Ho ho ho!
And as I’d wrapped and delivered all of the Christmas presents and the house was feeling so festive, it was the perfect evening to take the children to visit Father Christmas; so after school I rounded up the little tots and we headed to the grotto to look at the light displays and see the cheerful beardy fellow in his toy room. It was priceless to see Millie and Gabriele’s face as we wandered through the woodland animals and magical scenery. Gabriele stopped to touch everything that moved or made a noise and Millie squealed at the twinkling lights and snow fairies. It’s moments like these that I wish I could freeze in time and keep in my heart forever, the excitement, the wonderment and pure love. And by the time we got to Father Christmas I was surprised the children hadn’t spontaneously combusted with enthusiasm as we walked into a room filled with toys and Millie’s mouth dropped open. She immediately told Father Christmas that she had been a very good girl all year and that her baby brother Gabriele is very cheeky but it’s okay because he’s just a baby and my heart swelled with pride. The children each chose a toy, Millie picked a black puppy and Gabriele a light up toy truck, before we had a family photo taken which we do every year, and then we headed home. It was a lovely evening and the children slept like little yule logs when we got back home, all snuggled up in a nice warm bed with teddies and plump pillows. Bliss.
Millie has absolutely loved taking part in the after school singing club, for which the climax of the term has built up to a choir performance in the village highstreet. She was so nervous about getting up on stage and singing to the public, and Gabriele and I stood wrapped up in our coats and mittens cheering her on from the front row as she soon got into the swing of it. She gave the sweetest, most adorable smile as the microphone echoed, the lights flashed and she wiggled and danced her way through several festive songs she’d been learning, singing at the top of her lungs and winking and waving to us as she went. For the last few years Millie has dreamed of becoming a pop star, so to have her first live gig at the age of six was a pretty special moment for her and it meant the world to me to see her enjoying herself and giving it her all. My beautiful little girl, growing up and making me so incredibly proud.
Dare I say it, finally we’re all healthy again! No more bugs, no more toilet dashes and sick bowls, just happy healthy children eating normal meals and a fairly average visit from Mother Nature to reward Mummy. Well we can’t win them all can we? I did something today that I’ve not done since I was a teenager before having the children, I went for a boudoir photoshoot and it was fabulous! Since I was a glamour and page 3 model at the age of eighteen I’ve not had a professional shoot or contributed to my portfolio in almost eight years, that was until today. Through doing my workouts and yoga I take progress pictures on my phone in my workout attire but it’s hardly anything glamourous or special. So it was lovely to put on some lipgloss, heels and pearls and have a taste of the good old days once again.
Obviously a lot changes in eight years, and having two children has taken its toll on how I perceive myself, my body and my outlook on life. I look at myself and think, ‘should I be saying this? ‘should I be doing this?’ ‘should I even be wearing this?’ and then I laugh at the thought of being sixty when I’d no doubt kick myself and say ‘I so should have done that when I was young, what a wuss I was!’ I wouldn’t do page 3 again and I daren’t say I’d be too inclined to venture into glamour, but a delicate, girly boudoir shoot was a lovely little treat and put the biggest smile on my face. So much has changed in this last year, my life has been a crazy roller coaster of emotion and drama and realisation of a new kind of reality; the last place I expected to be today was in front a camera posing in my underwear, and if you’d have told me this would happen a year ago I’d have laughed it off and changed the subject. But now I’m grateful for change, for the spanners in the works and the moments when I try something new or revisit past experiences that meant so much to me because it puts the warmth back in my heart. I’m gradually finding myself again, putting my best foot forward and screaming because I want to go faster! 🙂