41 weeks and 5 days | Looking back and looking forward

There is just a day and a half more of 2013 left.

A few more more hours of the best year of my life (so far). And there have been some really, really excellent years… a few of which are stored away, in a special part of my brain, marked ‘THE BEST’.

1981 was memorable. My 8th birthday party was a-MAY-zing. My mom and dad did a ‘Wise Owl’s Disco’; a cardboard Wise Owl (from The Little Grey Rabbit Storybook), behind the decks, with flashing orange lightbulb eyes. And a birthday cake (chocolate) in the shape of a figure 8. To an eight year old girl, that party was — and still is — one of the best things that EVER happened.

1996 was the most amazing year; I got together with my beautiful boy. He had been my ‘best friend’ for the ten months before we hooked up as a proper couple. I had been happily hanging out with him and just didn’t realise how much I loved him until he got a girlfriend. I suddenly found myself insanely jealous and unable to speak to — or look at — the man that I’d been chatting on the phone to every day for the last year. Needless to say, the new girlfriend didn’t last very long, once I declared my love for him. I have never ‘broken up’ another person’s relationship before — or since — and felt still feel quite mean about that. But after nearly 18 years together, and almost 13 years of a very happy marriage, I think that it was the right thing to do. I certainly didn’t do it lightly, but my life would have been so very different, had I not.

2001 was another fantastic milestone year; my boy and I got hitched after going out with each other for 5 blissful years!

That day is etched in my memory forever. Perfectly preserved; every butterfly in my stomach, every smile, every word. It was a perfect day; a celebration of our happiness. We took over a castle — our friends and family — a fabulous mix of noisy, beautiful, joyous people. All delighted that we’d finally taken the plunge. I wouldn’t have changed a single thing.

The years that followed are a bit of a blur…

Spending hours, from late til the very early morning, in various London clubs. Dancing to repetitive beats with absolute abandon. Buying and doing up houses; up to our ears in plaster-dust and woodchip wallpaper. Lots of dinners — at friend’s houses/pubs/posh (and not so posh) restaurants — holidays and festivals. The last 13 years have been busy, that’s for sure!

But the last seven — although full and mostly happy — have also been preoccupied with ‘trying for a baby’.

Until this year.

Because the WHOLE of 2013 has been spent in a heady state of euphoria as we — my boy and I — were finally to become parents!

January to March whizzed by.

It was my 40th birthday, followed by our wedding anniversary, followed by my boy’s birthday. These events were interspersed with ‘decorating the nursery’ and attending TAMBA seminars on ‘How to look after multiples’. It snowed, and the village was covered in drifts, for what felt like EVER. Boxes of baby-grows, baby-vests and muslins arrived. Plus the buggy and the cot-beds. Our house started to fill up with the belongings of two little people who hadn’t, themselves, yet arrived. Their presence was everywhere, but they were still safely tucked up inside my ever expanding belly. It was as though we were very gradually being prepared for their arrival.

Although nothing really prepared us for what happened once they were born! I don’t think I could have ever imagined, in my wildest dreams, how amazing the last 9 and a half months would be.

Every mother has a different experience of childbirth and bringing up a baby. Some people have a ball, whilst others struggle. Some happily sail through, whilst others are, sadly, blighted by depression. There is no wrong or right way. Some parents use ‘satellite parenting — the ‘attachment’ method — Gina Ford. There are a million and one ways to bring up a child; and a million and two books, websites and forums to advise tell you how to do so.

We haven’t really used any single method. My babies have been been in a feeding/sleeping/eating routine since day one. Not out of a book, but one that the four of us just seemed to fall into. Their daddy and I worked together from the start and we share the care of our two little charges. People always mention how happy and contented the babies are and I think that’s because they have two happy and contented parents… I’m not sure there’s anymore to it than that.

So just a day, and a few more hours, left of this stellar year. This fabulous, eventful, 12 months; of which there have been (nearly) 365 days of happiness, for my husband and me.

13 has always been my lucky number. And this year was one of my luckiest yet.

I do still have some wishes for the year ahead. Mostly ones that ensure that my family and friends stay healthy and happy… a MASSIVE lottery win perhaps… but actually, my biggest wish was granted this year. I am looking forward, from here-on-in, to just enjoying my little family and not spending time wishing my life away.

Roll on 2014 — I am so ready for you!

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