Everyday that passes I feel more and more relaxed, each night I get a few minutes more sleep and gradually I feel myself edging a little closer to reality. Even though I look like a scarecrow today, my best intentions first thing this morning were to get the breakfast on the table, do the housework have a shower and get ready to go out and I was 99% there, only I never finished getting ready; and absentmindedly left the wet towel on my hair for a few hours after my shower which caused a massive fuzz ball thatch on one side of my head which I am still sadly sporting this evening.
Today was the first time I stayed at home with the children whilst Luca went out instead of our usual entourage of buggies, car seats, nappies, bottles, blankets, boosters and bears. And I have to admit it was nice, I made it as far as my leggings and smock top, but not quite to the lip-gloss and hair straighteners. I feel half cooked but not yet caramelised. And it was definitely a relief to think after all of the rushing this morning that actually I could sit down and put my feet up instead of carrying on like a headless chicken.
Yesterday it was beautifully sunny so we went shopping and stopped for fish and chips at lunchtime just the four of us. It felt like time stood still as we ate our chips out of paper wrappers with wooden forks and too much vinegar, chatting and laughing. When we got home we took the dog for an evening walk as the sun was falling and the sky was so fresh and golden; Millie rode her scooter and Gabriele was snuggled up in his pushchair. We walked through the woods and the air smelt so fresh and green and welcoming, it wasn’t cold like the days before, it didn’t feel damp or too late for comfort; it was just perfect, romantic even. We stopped at the park before heading home and Millie and I giggled on the seesaw, climbed into a little wooden hut and went to death-defying heights on the swings whilst Luca babysat the Chihuahua and bambino on the park bench. It’s moments like that which I will always have etched onto my heart, they are so incredibly priceless and mean the absolute world to me. Just too see the children happy and loving every moment, watching Luca pick up doggy poop whilst pulling repulsive faces, and hearing Gabriele cooing from the pushchair as Millie shows us her best scooting. It puts the biggest smile on my face just thinking about it. Quality family time doesn’t have to cost the earth, it’s the beautiful little moments that you have with your children that mean more than anything material or tangible.
I’ve noticed that my attitude to what’s important or urgent has shifted since having two children. When I had Millie I’d not long been out of my teens and wanted to prove to myself and others that I could still do everything I did before, still get to appointments on time, still have my home and life in order, still better my education, still continue to work and push myself and it not be the end of my life having had a child and the restrictions being a mother brings. I think ever since then I’ve constantly loaded myself up until breaking point like a donkey and put so much pressure on myself to take on the world and do everything asked of me when I now see it as so unnecessary.
For everything that would have sent me grey in the past, I’m now suddenly of the “Oh well, never mind” opinion which is quite shocking for me. I’m normally so in control and strict on myself it’s quite anal, but I wouldn’t say I’m any less in control, I think I’m just more at ease with the world. It probably doesn’t help that all I want to do is cuddle and coo over our newborn, but I’ve been late on more than four occasions recently and didn’t even break a sweat! That really is an achievement for me and I definitely feel the need to boast and brag a little because I feel like I’ve beaten the naysayers or stuck my fingers up at an annoying neighbour after bumping into them in public after having moved house to a nicer more quiet area. Luca used to be a little scared of me (haha!) when I’d start twitching if the clock was a minute over or the housework slightly out of sync, he was forever telling me to relax and sit down, I really could give the military a run for their money on routines and strictness. But now that I am more Mediterranean with my approach, it’s so… healthy? Amazing? Invigorating! I wish I could have felt this way so many years earlier. My first child turned me into a control freak and my second has turned me into a teenager although I’m hoping I won’t turn into a complete child and lose all sense of urgency, or start liking Justin Bieber! I can picture myself a few years into the future shopping in Tesco’s in my slippers and pyjamas with a smart overcoat and unwashed hair unconvincingly disguised under a bobble hat as I buy my milk and cornflakes and it makes me want to laugh. I’m not saying I’ll turn into a complete mess, but life is so much more enjoyable when you sit back and enjoy the ride rather than try to organise the race, hotdogs and clean up after. I don’t want the children to think of their Mummy as a stress head, I want them to jump into my arms and get chocolate all over my clothes after they sneak biscuits from the tin before dinner with chocolate-moustache’s around their lips.
We’re so excited to now start work on Gabriele’s christening as it’s something very heartfelt and important to us and we want to make it a special day for our little angel. We have the church and hall booked and now it’s the fun stuff, buying the balloons, cakes, decorations, outfits and food. We decided some months before Gabriele was born that we wanted him to wear a suit on his big day and found the most gorgeous little Ivory jacket and trousers with little satin shoes and a bib and I’m dying to put Gabriele in it, but want to wait for his big day so as not to jinx or dirty it. I can picture him laid in his Daddy’s arms at the church looking so handsome and tiny and it makes my heart squeak with happiness. It’s absolutely wonderful to sit down together at night with a pack of chocolate digestives, a notebook and pen and decide on what we want for the party. Luca always brings out the most cheeky and cheerful side of me and the ideas that we bounce off of each other are hilarious; it doesn’t feel like a chore or inconvenience to organise an afternoon for so many guests from near and far, the catering and hosting and necessities, if anything it’s been a release and weight lifted from our shoulders to be able to do this for Gabriele and to know he is here and safe and ready to begin his life in the best way. Even choosing the smallest details makes me smile because we can do it together and banter over dummies or booties on the napkins and it’s something from our hearts that we have done just for our son, even if it is a little quirky.
Our little family melts my heart, takes years off of my mind and brightens my eyes and we’re so incredibly lucky to have each other x x x x