As the Easter holidays came to an end, I took some time out with the children to talk about the meaning and symbolism of this time of year, and how Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Being Catholic we have faith as a family but we do not attend church, as I believe religion can be everywhere and anywhere that you choose, and it doesn’t only have to be shown in a place of worship.
We spoke about making sacrifices to help others, and how each day brings us all new opportunity, hope and the chance to make a positive difference. I asked the children what they would like to do to make a difference and Millie said she would like to donate the things she no longer needed to help children to be happy. Gabriele didn’t say too much, as he mainly baby garbles but he managed to say “shoes” and “piggies” as we do the nursery rhyme of this little piggy on his toes when he pulls his socks off. So looking through the wardrobes we came across a few pairs of the children’s shoes that they’d outgrown to take to a charity shop.
We chose to donate to Keech Hospice Care in Hemel Hempstead, Millie proudly handed the bag over to the assistant of the charity shop and was very polite saying please and thank you, as well as wishing the lady a happy Easter and it melted my heart. To reward the children for such a thoughtful act, I took them shopping to buy some new clothes and I was pleasantly surprised for the second time that morning, when Millie told me that she didn’t need any more. Millie went through a faze several months ago where she lost the concept of money and almost expected relatives and friends to get her whatever she asked for, regardless of the cost or occasion; whether it would be a magazine or a pair of shoes, she felt that if she wanted it then whenever she asks she would get. I spent some time teaching her about the value of money, how everything costs and that you have to save hard for the things that you want and decide if they really are necessary. It had obviously struck a chord with her, as when I held up summer tops and dresses for her perusal, she sweetly said “No thank you Mummy, I already have enough” and asked if there was anything else that I needed instead. Wow.
I don’t know if it was some kind of child psychology, but I was so humbled by her response that I couldn’t resist getting her some pretty outfits and accessories, as she’d outgrown last years summer clothes and was in need of the next size up. I also got myself a few new items and some jewellery and the three of us had great fun looking around the shops, buying twinkly windchimes and windmills for the garden, stopping for pizza and seeing the ducks on our walk back to the car. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, where time stood still and the children and I did whatever we liked. What girl doesn’t love a spot of shopping and a good chit chat? My children mean the world to me and it’s days like these that will remain a fond memory forever.
Speaking of new beginnings, I purchased a new door mat this week which I cut to size and fitted myself. My kitchen-diner has french doors onto the garden which were previously guarded by two rubber mats that were far too small and slid across the floor whenever you stepped on them. I was forever pushing them back into position and cleaning muddy footprints off of the floor around them. The new mats are huge and totally cover the whole area, and thanks to my stanley blade they fit perfectly into the corners and keep the floor beautifully clean too. It may sound strange but I had an epiphany as I wrestled with my new mats, folding, bending and slicing them into position; I guess in life I have always been that little slippery doormat, the one that gets pushed around and walked all over, trying your hardest to please others yet always falling short. But as I trimmed my new mats to size it made me realise that you can still be who you are, without compromising what you do. The mat is there to serve and protect the floor, and this time it wouldn’t be kicked around and pushed to one side, it would dominate the doorway and ensure all who pass through it are clean and tidy. They both did the same job but with two entirely different results.
This year in particular I have noticed a change in how I deal with things, I’m not as weak as I used to be, I don’t dither and ponder over things as much, and I’m far more comfortable with myself as a person and therefore able to speak my mind freely. If something concerns me then I make no qualms about flagging it and putting it right. And if people try to talk down to me or cause offence I am quick to stop them in their tracks as I won’t accept it. I have lost patience for ignorant and immature people, for attention seekers and trouble makers. Before I would have accepted others cruel jibes in an effort to try to keep the peace and hope that they wouldn’t turn their bitter attention in my direction, but now I am more than happy to look them square in the eye and tell them where to go. The world can be a nasty place with people who are jealous, spiteful and insecure, they feed off of misery and dragging others down, and this week has shown me that a leopard will never change its spots. The only way you can ever lead a happy and stress free life is to sort the wheat from the chaff, keep those you love close to you, and send those you dislike a postcard from the moon.
I was pleased to be asked to guest speak on an Easter special of a Sky show called DKW, A Different Kind Of Woman, talking about new beginnings, rebuilding your life and moving forwards after heartache and tragedy. I had a fantastic time in the studio and was treated to a fabulous makeover which aired on Easter Sunday. I think it’s important for every woman to realise her worth, to learn from the experiences that hurt you and to become a stronger and better person because of it. We are all so much more capable than we give ourself credit for, and if you take the time to look inside, there is a lioness within each and every one of us.
Millie and I spent a wonderful afternoon at the salon having our hair trimmed, styled and *ahem*coloured*ahem* and I have returned to my natural colour, which is a number 7 and a dark blonde. It has been more years than I care to remember since I last saw my natural locks, as I’ve always believed that I was a brunette. But on closer inspection I am in fact the darkest of blonde, which isn’t anything like brown at all; and when the children jumped on me for a kiss and a cuddle when we returned home, I suddenly realised that for the first time ever, we all have exactly the same colour hair, skin tone and eyes. Millie is delighted with her sweeping side fringe and bob and I feel ten years younger with my pre-teen natural colour back. I’ve also begun blogging the 5:2 diet which involves fasting twice a week in preparation for summer in the hope of trimming up now that I’ve reduced my exercise regime.
Our final day of the holidays was spent at the dentist when we all had a checkup, Millie’s teeth were perfect and she got a pretty sticker, Gabriele was praised for having cut twenty teeth already before his second birthday, and I booked in to have fixed braces -the Six Month Smile- fitted to straighten my upper and lower teeth for summer which I’ll also be blogging about. What a day! After a delicious dinner and playing on the swings in the garden, we all had our baths before I tucked my two sleepy little nuggets up in bed, ready for the rat race of going back to school in the morning.
This week has been filled with sunshine, smiles and the realisation of the people who really matter in my life. I hope that you all had a fantastic Easter and showed those around you just how much you love and appreciate them. Every day that we have with our loved ones is a blessing, every morning a new opportunity and the chance to find happiness. We all deserve our dreams to come true so get out there and grab life by the horns and never let it go. Next week my beautiful Gabriele will celebrate his second birthday as he changes from a baby to a boy; it makes me realise how fast the time has gone and how precious every day is.