Sounds random right? I guess once you’re married you’ve left the ‘dating’ stage of your relationship behind, but I’m thinking more along the lines of going out on a proper ‘date’ the way you would have when you first met.
Scott and I got together when I was 17, our first date was to Greenwich – we went to the cinema to watch Pan’s Labyrinth, walked through the park drinking milkshakes and for dinner to a little Italian restaurant. After that first date we were always going out – bowling, to parties, gigs, weekends away, meals, cinema etc – of course we stayed in together too *how do you think we got Lily ;)*
I remember the excitement of getting ready to go on our dates – picking out an outfit, curling my hair, applying the glittery eye shadow that was super on-trend back in the days *this was pre the existence of contouring*, calling my friends to discuss every minute detail of my outfit and our plans and all of that nice buzzy feeling waiting for him to knock on the door.
It’s been ten years, one wedding and one beautiful daughter later and whilst we do go out it’s not labelled as a ‘date’ but I’m starting to think it should be. And so I’ve planned out a list of ways to ‘date’ my husband – it doesn’t have to be expensive nights out but I’d like to get dressed up intentionally to go out together. One of the most wonderful nights we had recently was for our anniversary last year when Scott took me to Opium Bar in Soho – we had cocktails, dim sum and I’d got dressed up (even wearing heels) for the occasion. It was exciting and fun and we both had such a good time – it’s been 7 months since then and we’ve not really done anything similar and I think it’s important that we make more time for ‘us’ as a couple not just as a family or individuals.
Until I was 11 I was an ‘only child’. My brother was born not long after my eleventh birthday and he came into my life Miley Cyrus style – screeching and, in my young eyes at least, wrecking EVERYTHING. My parents are pretty adamant that I’d begged for a sibling – I’m not so sure, and if I had I’m pretty certain I wanted a refund when he first arrived. Fast forward a couple of years and suddenly I loved this little brother of mine – he made me laugh, would giggle when I pulled funny faces and insisted on watching Toy Story and Thomas and the Magic Railroad on repeat (both of which I complained about but secretly loved); he would beg me to play trains or cars, would follow me around the house and once when he was about five I came home to find him and his friends rooting through my underwear drawers with my bras on their heads… needless to say I moved out pretty soon afterwards ha!
As much as I love him, it really does feel like we are different generations – and I’m sure the feeling is mutual; after all he was still in primary school when I was moving out, and was still in primary school when I had a child of my own. He’s a great kid, and now an adult, but 11 years is a pretty long gap and honestly despite being siblings I think for both of us it felt more like we were are ‘only children’ which will seem strange to anyone who hasn’t experienced such a big age gap. If you think about it Jack and I only lived together for 6 years; not very long at all!
My family isn’t particularly close, particularly not after my parent’s divorce – I’m close to my dad and that’s about it really; in fact I don’t have a relationship with my mum AT ALL; and even growing up we were never close-knit (which is probably why I fantasised about growing up to have a family like the Waltons *goodnight John Boy*). I really think that’s why over the years I have developed such a close-knit friendship group – it’s very much as though I have created my own ‘family’ unit; for me your family is not the people you are related to by blood or marriage – it’s the people who take you into their hearts and keep you there; the ones who you can always rely on, the ones you love above everything else.
If anyone asks if I have sisters I say yes. Resoundingly, resolutely YES. Because in my heart and in mind I have four beautiful sisters – four girls who I love above everything, who never fail to make me smile, who have my back when I need it, who would fight for me, who support me and love me despite all of my flaws and who are the most wonderful aunties to my little girl.
I have a really stressful job with lots of deadlines. It means I spend a lot of my time anxious and irritated and I find myself being really snappy with the people around me. It’s all made a million times worse when life outside of work gets stressful too. I’m writing this from a Glasgow coffee shop – I flew up yesterday (after a nightmare journey to the airport), tomorrow is my Uncle’s funeral and my nan (who I was supposed to be accompanying) is too ill to attend so I’ll be heading there by myself which is kicking my anxiety into overdrive. And yet here I am taking five minutes out to think about the little things that make me happy and grateful this week, and actually it’s really helping me to get a grip on myself *sometimes you really need somebody to give you a kick up the arse to remind you how blessed you really are (even if it is yourself)*…