Looking out this morning at the world painted white, at the sparkling snow crystals brightening up the most mundane view with their delicate beauty, I couldn’t help but wonder when the hell the bloody snow was planning on melting and giving us all just a small break. Bah humbug indeed.
Don’t get me wrong, I know it can be magical. The first time my older daughter saw snow as a toddler, she looked out at the garden and cried out ‘Daddy painted it!’ That brought a tear to my eye, although given that I’ve been waiting sixteen years for Daddy to fix the radiator cover in the hall, it’s optimistic that she thinks he could have dealt with the entire garden in just a couple of hours. I digress.
I’m just looking forward to a time when I can walk along the pavement without one of my feet slipping underneath me, causing me to pull a hundred and fifty muscles in the struggle to remain gracefully upright.
Anyway weather aside, we’ve had a lot going on here lately. In the space of the last eight weeks, my daughters have turned 13 and 16. There have been parties. Neighbours have been appeased. Hours were spent double and triple-checking that the ‘make your own mocktail’ table I set up for the younger ones didn’t somehow accidentally include vodka and gin.
I still remember all the ‘new baby’ cards on the wall after they were born, and now looking at the numbers ‘13’ and ‘16’ I have been forced to accept the fact that my babies are growing up. It’s particularly disturbing with my older daughter, because I still have a clear memory of all the stuff I got up to when I was 16.
I feel we’re moments away from their discovery that I did not, in fact, abstain from alcohol, cigarettes and men until the age of twenty five as I may have tried to convince them in the past. And even fewer moments away from them finding the photographs. And that in fact the only things I DID abstain from were schoolwork, morals, that kind of thing.
On the bright side, I can tell them that I gave up smoking years ago, I am obviously now happily married to just the one man, and I only drink…well, two out of three ain’t bad.
Birthdays complete, we are now on the lead-up to Christmas like everyone else. I am prepared to say tentatively that things have been going pretty well. I got the lights onto the tree with very little fury indeed. The annual argument over tree chocolates was avoided, largely because I’ve forgotten what I’ve done with them. I’ll probably find them in February under the towels in the airing cupboard or something.
The presents have been bought, although admittedly I haven’t yet done that thing where you put everything on the bed and realise that 95% of what’s there is for just one person, and you have three days left to even things up.
I didn’t manage to get a supermarket delivery so next week I will be spending three hours shuffling slowly around Tesco with the hordes, followed by seven hours standing in a queue wondering which things have already fully defrosted. All while maintaining the impression of someone who does not wish to locate the loudspeakers blaring out the tinny Christmas tunes that have been playing since October and bury them in the magical snow outside. But until then, things are going well.
It’s been such a tough year for so many people everywhere, and I really do hope that you all have a safe, warm and merry Christmas. I’m now off to finish off the tree with the ‘angel’ in the photograph below. This is a decoration my youngest made when she was four years old. It’s creation sparked off two things:
1) A massive argument when her sister said it was rubbish, and didn’t want it to form any part of the festivities whatsoever. As a result, it now goes at the top of the tree.
2) My drinking.
I’m just kidding of course. I was drinking way before then. Speaking of which, I can hear the sound of a bottle chilling in the fridge, and I’d hate it to feel unwanted, so…here’s to very happy holidays for us all!
Bring on Bedtime!