What a difference a year makes…

Yesterday the girls went back to school and playschool. Uniforms dusted down from the wardrobe; new white socks in squeaky new shoes; hairs cut and washed; schoolbags eventually found, emptied, cleaned and repacked; breakfast table set. As we left, I took a photo by the front door as I always do to mark the beginning of a fresh start. Last night I sent it to my mum, along with last year’s picture. What a difference a year makes.

Yesterday, Daisy a little older and a lot wiser. No tears, no fear, only excitement and anticipation. A new haircut, shorter, more manageable, a little older. She has grown into her uniform, no longer looking quite like Orphan Annie with a skirt to her ankles and sleeves past her fingertips. And Poppy…. how she has changed, and grown and blossomed. A little taller, a lot happier. A new haircut, shorter, more manageable, a little older. She has grown into her skin, no longer suffering from malnutrion, her gluten free diet nourishing her body and mind. And of course, the new addition. Ruby. Bursting from my belly last year, now a glorious bouncing, busy, boisterous baby.

When I look at last year’s picture… I remember the promise in my life. Three weeks later my baby would be born. I was full of plans and projects. My mum would help me through the first few weeks, and we would sit wrapped in newborn love, proud and pompous with the delight of our lives. We had holidays planned, excitement brimming with the thoughts of the year ahead.

Instead the promise was destroyed, as the blood seeped into her brain and destroyed her memory, her voice, her life.

But…. as I look at this year’s picture, I must remember I have new promise. The girls growing and glowing all the time. Ruby, a mystery minx, revealing her character and cuteness every day. A new year to learn, and grow and love. My mum is still part of my life. The love she gave me every one of my 41 years, will keep me going for the next 41, seeing the promise in life every day.

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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2 Responses to What a difference a year makes…

  1. As always, so beautiful. I could read your posts all day. Just hits straight to the heart this one. I often become reflective like this, thinking about this time last year or what will another year bring. Life is such a journey isn't it?! Up and down the long road, through the sunny calm and the stormy rough. You should be so proud of your beautiful girls and the year you've survived. No doubt one of the toughest you'll endure. But it's comforting to know that you can get through the difficult ones and come out stronger on the other side. Your Mama would be proud of you too, what a lovely daughter she has raised :o) May the year ahead bring more of the good and less of the bad xo


  2. Foodie Mummy says:

    Great post. There is something so promising about going back to school, a new future, a new beginning. I used to love it as a child and I still love it now. X


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