A near perfect day

Yesterday was one of those days that I kept catching myself and watching as if I was above and looking down.  It was near perfect. It was the kind of day I remember from my childhood. The kind of day I wanted for my un-born children as I wondered how our lives would change. The kind of day our girls will recount when they are older and reminisce about their Donegal summers.

It started well. I had a lie in….. Hubby arrived the night before and after two and half weeks of solo parenting, I got to slumber in my duvet and tune into my own thoughts wthout the perpetual background symphony of little voices.  Then, after Ruby went for her morning nap, the four of us had a family game of Monopoly.  When I was a child and we went on our family holidays to Donegal, my brother and I would have epic three day games of Monopoly.  Daisy and Poppy are now equally addicted, although Daddy had to go and bankrupt us all!
Then I wrote a long letter to my mum and sent her all the pics of our beach adventures…. I know she will clutch that letter and hold onto it for hours…. an escape to the outside world.
Then……. we went and saw some puppies.  We’ve been wanting one for ages, and there in the local little shop was a little notice. I knew immediately one of them was ours. Serendipity. A little piece of Donegal with us always. We went to see them and the girls chose their new pet – the little dog that will share all the days of their childhood.  And here he is…… Olly. Serendipidous. He was already called Olly, the name we were going to call our boy that never happened.

In the afternoon we climbed up sand dunes, and rolled down them, laughing out sand, spitting out sun. We walked though a meadow of orchids, cow parsley, cowslips, thrifts, dancing in the long grass. We left our footprints on the soft sand, and Ruby waved at the waves. We climbed rocks and threw sand and wet seaweed at each other screaming in laughter.
Then we got home and sat down together to a great big steaming fish pie, talking about our new family. With Olly.
When the kids went to bed, the sun called us outside and hubby and I sat in the shadow of Mount Ericle and supped wine and smiled.  Then we fell asleep in front of a roaring turf fire. Does it get any better? Does it make up for the endless days of frustration and tears, hard work followed by hard work, rearing and roaring, teaching and tearing my hair out?  Yes, actually. It does. I say near perfect, because I wish my mum would be able to read the letter I sent her. And come and visit us to meet Olly and step her footprints beside mine in the sand as she has all my life.  But then, I know I wouldn’t have been able to have this near perfect day if her footprints weren’t there.  As they always will be. As mine will always be beside my girls whereever they are.

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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