When I was at university I never imagined I would want to move back to where I grew up. I loved living in Leeds, and then London, and just couldn’t imagine living back in the sticks, with the nearest city Cambridge still being a good twenty five minutes away.
But getting engaged, and ultimately having children has changed my whole outlook. I love living back where I grew up, and I love having most of our family nearby. My Mum and sister are literally a couple of minutes drive, in the next village, and my Dad is ten minutes in the car. My grandparents on my Mum’s side take us half an hour to reach. While we don’t see our family every day, each of them busy with their own lives and us busy with our little ladies, it is nice to know that they are there if we need them.
One of my favourite days of the week is Monday. My Mum is busy as she owns her own beauty salon, but Monday is her day off and since LL came along and I finished for maternity leave, it has become our day. We see her every week, and I look forward to them. It’s only in the morning, as the girls nap in the afternoon (not very well at the moment!) but we always have a great time.
We don’t do anything particularly exciting- we go into town and get a cake and do some shopping, go the garden centre to see the animals and have lunch, or go for a walk with the dog- but I love spending time with my Mum and the girls absolutely adore ‘Bum Ma’. We are so close and as we don’t get to spend a huge amount of time together due to our busy lives, usually snatched moments when she pops by, I do treasure our Monday mornings.
This grainy, out of focus iPhone photo was taken last Monday at our usual ‘haunt’ the garden centre. Why is that when you become a parent, the garden centre becomes a great day out? I don’t think I had ever even stepped foot in one in my adult life before Mads came along. But it is great, there are animals to see, a play ground, lots of space outside to run about, and of course the added bonus of cake!
When we go we always have to have a ride on Thomas, it has become an ordinary moment, and LL will go on now and Mads will hold on to her tight. The first time Mads held her on there, both myself and my Mum had tears in our eyes, because it was just so cute to see the smiles of delight on both of their faces, combined with the tenderness and the gentle way in which Mads clung on to her little sister.
For those few minutes each Monday, when they ride on Thomas, I feel such a sense of contentment combined with a feeling that I wish they could be innocent forever. That Thomas the Tank engine would always make them squeal and smile with excitement.
As each Monday rolls around quickly, and we go about our little day to day routine, I can’t help but feel it is all a bit bittersweet that time is going quite as fast as it is. It’s an ordinary moment in our week, but I certainly do treasure our Monday morning dates.