Tag Archives: christmas

I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know

Oh my darling Lucia, we have just spent your 5th Christmas day together and it was a privilege. You were so excited about Santa’s visit that you barely slept on Christmas Eve, which of course means neither did I, thanks for that!

I was up until 1am wrapping your presents, listening out for your little footsteps in case you appeared in the living room and all the magic was lost. But you managed to stay in bed asleep until 3am so I filled your stocking and left it on the end of your bed and snuck off to my bed hoping for a good rest before the fun and games began on Christmas morning. But it was not to be and 3 am rolled around too quickly.

I haven’t been feeling very well at all these last few weeks which is why I have been a bit tireder than usual and walking bit slow that usual. I have been trying my best to keep it from you, I don’t want to tell you am sick again because I don’t want you to worry but I don’t want you to think that I don’t want to play with you. I am trapped in an impossible situation.

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After your Barbie Dream House was constructed yesterday, 3 hours – thanks to your dad for delivering it un built!! – you asked me to play but by that point I was literally on my knees with pain and exhaustion, lunch had been cooked and eaten and I fell asleep on the sofa, the pain in my legs woke me up and there you were with nanny, happily playing with your toys. “Play with me mummy” was the refrain of the day and I kept saying ‘ later darling, I have to cook lunch” ‘later daring, I’m a bit tired’ and you looked so crest fallen, you were so patient, I prayed for time to go faster so it would be time for you to go to bed and I could stop refusing you play time with me. I never want to wish away our time together but I didn’t know what to do, we put on our pyjamas and got into my super king bed and you watched youtube toy reviews while I cuddled you and I silently cried while you sat on my lap, it was the worst day of parenting I have ever had, I let you down, I wasn’t the parent you deserved, luckily I have a streaming cold so you thought I was just sniffling as usual.

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You are so precious and amazing and I couldn’t give you the thing you deserved and needed, my undivided time to do with me as you wished. That is the real price I pay for having a chronic illness. It’s not the lack of ability to have a social life, its not the frustration at the endless pain I cant control, its not the fear of a liver transplant, its the fact that I cannot be the mother you, my child, needs and deserves. I can never have that time with you back again and all you will remember about this year’s Christmas day is that I didn’t want to play with you. As the time passes I hope that is not the thing that stands out, let it be the big tacky dolls house with ALL the sound effects, please.

Lucia, I love you so very much, more than I can express, there is no one else I would like to send my time with. As you left with your father this morning to have Christmas with him, my heart broke and I wanted the time back again, I want to be well, I want to play Barbies with you.

Deep beneath the cover of another perfect wonder, Where it’s so white as snow

Lucia is convinced that Christmas comes when it snows, when the 25th December rolled around last month she was slightly dubious that it was actually Christmas day due to the lack of snow so I’m sure you can guess what type of conversation we had on a Sunday two weeks ago when we woke up to a blanket of snow!

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The long climb up

Having finally convinced her that it wasn’t Christmas, all other plans for the day were set aside so we could get on with the business of playing. I am exceptionally lucky to live in the countryside with a garden that backs onto the most perfect sledging hill. A few years ago people are skiing on it. Having put on at least three layers of clothing, made my coffee and popped it in a thermos we dragged the bright red sledge out of the shed and off we went. Lucia is five and the last time it snowed enough to sledge  was the month before she was born so this was the first time she had really experienced snow, she loved it, it was also the puppy’s first snow experience and she had her very smart Barbour coat to keep her warm. Livia (the puppy) she enjoyed it for a bit, chased a few snowballs and then started climbing my leg to be picked up. In fairness as a mini dachshund pup she is very low to the ground so her tummy was cold as were her little paws so I relented and carried her.

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Just before the puppy demanded to be picked up

Of course sledging down a hill is fantastic fun, the trudging back up again grows tiresome quickly but Lucia was super and persevered longer than I would have. She also proved very useful to the other children sledging as her extra weight in the sledge made it go faster. We retired home after about half an hour when Lu said her feet were getting cold and when I got her undressed a pile of snow tumbled out of both boots so she wasn’t joking. Hot chocolate, open fires and our traditional Sunday breakfast of pancakes with maple syrup and bacon satisfied all concerned and by the time the evening was drawing in the snow had all but gone.

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Sledging literally at the bottom of my garden

We keep this stuff in this photograph, we made these memories for ourselves

I didn’t want to do a ‘review’ of 2015 as, whilst looking back is interesting in some respects, for me over analysis is not always helpful. I am always mindful that ‘the past is a nice place to visit, but certainly not a good place to stay.’ So, I have chosen 12 photos that illustrate my 2015, there isn’t one from each month but one from each of the significant significant events that happened.

12 photos, 12 months

1.We got a Puppy

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2.Lulu started school

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3.I was off work and in ALL the hospitals

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4.I fractured my wrist

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5.I went to New York for the first time

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6.I went to Suffolk (twice)

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7.My Decree Nisi was granted

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8.Christmas happened

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9.I saw my mum, alot

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10.I planted and harvested from my allotment

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11.I got offered a place for my Phd at Oxford Brookes

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12. I turned 41

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That it couldn’t be me and be her inbetween without you

Oh those inbetween days from Christmas to New Year, luckily for me I don’t work during that period so it settles into a haze of not knowing what day it is and pottering around which makes me happy. Here are my in-between days in photos.

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Me & my girls having Christmas day cuddles

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One of Lulu’s four Disney Princess dresses

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Lulu went off to her dad’s on Boxing Day

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Another hospital appointment for me

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My car & my washing machine broke down

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New Year’s Eve cuddle

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She made it until 10.30pm

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New Year’s Day walk the woods

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Muddy puppy in smart Barbour coat

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Wendover Woods – such beauty is good for the soul.

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Well deserved hot drink

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Slightly soggy but gorgeous puppy.

Christmas is coming & the goose is getting fat

 

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I adore Christmas time, I mean, I really really love it, more than I can express. The twinkly lights, the gorgeous food, the open fires, the planning, the gift buying (and recieving), the shop windows and the Radio Times.

 

Christmas is guaranteed to happen, no one can take it away or cancel it (not even the Sheriff of Nottingham) and for one who had a childhood of uncertainty and flux the static nature of it was very important to me. It makes me feel safe. I simply cannot in any way relate to people who say they hate it, that its stressful, that cooking Christmas dinner is anything but a pleasure – really, it is only like a Sunday lunch only larger! But I can see now that there is anxiety attached when you have children. You want to buy them ALL the lovely things (thanks endless TV toy adverts – not)  and make it an amazing time for them. Particularly as the window of innocence and magic for children seems to be shrinking. I can also see how for separated parents it can start to feel like you are entering a gift buying competition . I have felt the odd twinge regarding this but so far my ex and I have not entered into the arena with any seriousness. On occasion we will buy a joint gift if it is a big expensive one – her John Lewis Play Kitchen Last year is a case in point. We give each other pointers if she has mentioned anything in particular, so far so good. And plus, I bought her a puppy last month so I definitely win don’t I!!! Hey, he bought a kitten two months after moving out – he started it.

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The only thing I cannot offer Lulu is a big family Christmas. On my side there is me and my mum and Lulu. On my ex’s side there are aunts and uncles and cousins, his old school friends and their families – he moved back to his home town when he left me. Not to mention his girlfriend and her children and her family. I can see it now. Carols around the piano, a James Bond movie…only kidding, they don’t have a piano. Goodness knows its hard enough as an adult not to fall prey to the adverts telling us how Christmas ‘ought to be’ – large cuddly happy families gathered for fun, frolics, feasting and festivities so I really hope that isn’t what four year old Lulu thinks it ‘ought to be’ because I would hate for her to be ever disappointed. Though it would be understandable. I had wanted to create the large family Christmas’ I had heard tell of but had never experienced. My ex husband’s family regularly organise get togethers which are full of love and chat and fun which I was part of but of course things are now very different but I want Lulu to love this time of year as much as I do, (but for very different reasons hopefully) and so far I think she does.

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On Christmas day in my house we open ALL our presents as soon as we wake up and we have chocolate for breakfast if we want and we eat dinner late and we wear jammies all day if we want to, so on one hand having such a small select gathering means less ‘having’ to do things in a timely fashion as people are arriving or leaving or whatever and we can enjoy being together. I don’t believe that there is a formula for Christmas happiness – alone, together, at home or out, I think taking the time to be nice to yourself on Christmas Day is the best thing to do. My absolutely favourite quote about Christmas comes from one of my all time idols, the food writer Elizabeth David “If I had my way – and I shan’t – my Christmas Day eating and eating would consist of an omelette and cold ham and a nice bottle of wine at lunchtime, and a smoked salmon sandwich with a glass of champagne on array in bed in the evening.” (Elizabeth David’s Christmas – complied by Jill Norman. Penguin/Michael Joseph 2003).

Basically, no one else is ever having as much fun as you think they are, Christmas itself is just one day, and try and be nice to yourself.