Look away children…… part two

I’m back….. I’ve actually been back a while just in case my longer-than-normal absence led some of you to think I’d decided to stay in New York. I’m afraid nothing so dramatic.
I arrived home at 6am Monday morning having had no sleep and straight into the beginning-of-week flurry of school readiness. After the glorious gusto of greetings, my husband ran out of the door with a look of sheer relief on his face mouthing “they’re all yours!” I put my suitcases down, forced a smile on my face and made their breakfast….. They were all sick with colds and so it was Thursday before I actually got any sleep. During those fog-muddled days, I could almost taste the sweet boost of cocktail that I had left behind and could cry. As everyone pulled at me, screamed at me, coughed at me, needed me……. I closed my eyes and remembered…. the gloriousness of time off, time alone, time to be me.

Quick disclaimer!: I did miss the girls so so much, and we skyped every day and talked several times a day (not looking forward to my mobile billl). I missed hubby incredibly and wished I could have shared all the amazing restaurants and cocktail bars with him…. came home full of romantic intentions and have barely spoken to him since (he’s been sick, the girls have been sick, I’ve been sick, I had to go up to visit my mum…. so Hi Lovely…. talk soon!).

But………but…… I cannot lie. It was sheer bliss. Sheer, utter, perfect, glorious, freedom liberating bliss. For five days I lived my life. MY life. I remembered who I was. I laughed, I smiled, I thought good thoughts. I did not shout, get frustrated, feel trapped, feel resentful, feel like crying, feel rubbish, feel stressed.
We walked (not ran, walked) all over Manhatton, we browsed (browsing!!!!..not running into a shop, list hanging out of mouth, baby in one arm, two hands beng dragged by the other arm, shouting ‘where’s the bloody thing I’m looking for!’, and throwing money at the teller as I stop Ruby climbing onto an escalator, and shoving everyone back in the car seats in approximately 3 breaths….. yes, browsing), we stopped for tea breaks (where I actually drank it and finished whole conversations), drank cocktails at peculiar hours of the day (just because I COULD!), we went out for glorious East Coast seafood and beer, (and didn’t have to rush home), I didn’t get indigesiton eating my breakfast because I only had to feed myself. Did I mention it was bliss?

Sorry girls…… I love you dearly, and chose this life at home with you. I would have it no other way….. but I needed this. I feel recharged, rebooted, re-engaged, reinvented, rejuvenated. My post-holiday blues have flown away leaving a rainbow of happiness. Our coughs are gone, and replaced by laughing. I’ve rediscovered how to laugh with you, because I finally had some time to remember how to laugh with me. I am playful, forgiving, energised, and I am loving being with you again. Oh, and just so you….. Amanda and I have started saving again!

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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3 Responses to Look away children…… part two

  1. Oh Alana, sounds totally perfect. I love how you have mixed in the bliss with the 'not so' blissful. But it sounds like just the thing you needed. How fabulous you were able to do all of that. And yes, I have been wondering where you'd got to. It's great to have you back :o)
    All those things you describe, about getting to enjoy on your own… I totally get that. It is such a grind from day to day… but of course, I wouldn't change it for the world either xo


  2. Anonymous says:

    Did you get any action in N.Y.C?

    Sounds like you did 😉 good for you!


  3. cath c says:


    i would love love love that. honey and i took one 4-day trip to New Orleans and its Jazz festival a couple of years ago. I missed the kids, but it sure was welcome respite: sleeping in, eating beignets and the best food in every restaurant of any city, walking all over the French Quarter at all hours and the music of the Festival.


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