Wow! Where have the last 8 weeks gone? It seems like only a few days ago that we were bringing Thea back from the hospital and standing in the doorway of our lounge, staring at each other with a look of “what the hell do we do now?” slapped right across our faces. Since then it has been quite a journey, with new experiences coming thick and fast, every one of them opening my eyes just a little more to what it means to be a parent. This morning Thea and I spent our first morning alone together as Gem headed off to terrorise the highways and byways of Wiltshire in a driving lesson. Originally I had planned this post to be just about this experience – the first time in 38 years that I had been solely responsible for someone so small and dependant. I guess I had built it up in my head as being something that would be traumatic rather than enjoyable, but the reality of it was that I loved sharing those two hours with the little one we’ve come to affectionately refer to as Chunk. It is genuinely amazing how she can raise my spirits, even at the lowest of lows.
When Gem returned, with both her and the driving instructor unscathed, we decided to bring a little Christmas cheer to the house and set off for Allington Farm Shop to get our tree. Normally we have an artificial one which is great, but for Thea’s first festive season we decided the real deal was the way to go. After successfully conquering the logistics of transporting 2 adults, 1 baby in a car seat, 2 bags of shopping, a buggy and a 7 ft spruce in a T reg Golf, it was time to decorate.
To be fair, I left it to the experts and Thea enjoyed watching Mummy illuminate the spiky branches, totally mesmerised by the flashing lights. After the peppermint candy canes had been hung and the final bauble was gently swinging away, came the moment we’d been waiting for as I “helped” Thea place her first ever decoration – the star on the top of the tree that will now be our little tradition every year.
Gem has done an amazing job of making it Christmassy in here – bunting, baubles, wreath, pine cones and scented candles are all all serving as a welcome distraction. It really does feel festive, albeit only 4 days into December.
So now we begin the countdown. It’s strange, it has been a long time since Christmas seemed this important to me. The last few years have been different – since Gem and I got together it has definitely taken on more significance, but this year even more so. I’m looking forward to the 25th, and I can’t pretend that a large part of it isn’t down to being able to see Thea wear this again…