Home is where the heart is

Having a lazy morning with the girls. We’ve read books in bed, with Sam the cat curled up between us as the pigeons coo outside our window. Today will be a stroll rather than a sprint. Yesterday a job opportunity came my way. A six month leap into the real world. For a brief moment I really did flirt with the ‘old me’. I could see her putting on her smart suit, I could imagine her striding off to the train, and my heart pounded a little as I saw her waltz into a room full of adults and take on the world. I ran my hand along the rail of pretty cloths that gather dust above the piles of weary-worn jeans and sweat pants in my wardrobe. Just a step away from being mummy-me and a step into business-me. And it was so tempting. Like a glistening cool pool on a hot balmy day.

But then I woke up this morning and the girls clambered under my duvet and we read Rumble in the Jungle. Daisy practised her lion roar and Poppy triumphed her first elephant trumpet. That would all be gone.

We then padded out into the garden in our pyjamas and threw water and sand on the grass and chased the cat. That would all be gone.

We ate lunch together and Poppy finally got to grips with putting a spoon in her mouth. Daisy had a tantrum and I felt like strangling her but we got through and she chased Poppy up the stairs with squeals of giggles. I kissed them both and got a cuddle back and off they went to sleep. All that would be gone.

As they sleep I claim my private peace at the computer and write. I write my blog, I write my next magazine article. I watch the news. All that would be gone.

We teach each other. We show each other. We talk. We giggle. We share our world and that would all be gone. They also drive me up the wall, drive me to distraction and drive me to edge of sanity, but I have no doubt that would not all be gone. In fact, with a rushed morning and the dregs of their day, I’m sure that would not be gone at all.

I would gain so much by going out to work again. My sanity. My self-esteem. My identity. We could certainly do with the money. But I would loose so much more. We would loose so much more. So for now, home is where my heart is.

(c) AKG 2008

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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