Yesterday I was given a special gift, the gift of time. Hubby and Toddler boy were invited to a preview screening of the film The Tooth Fairy (I’m sure that he will report on that in good time on his blog). It was in central London, so I hitched a lift with them and spent a few hours alone with Fifi wandering about.
I love the West End, I love the air pollution, the general buzz of people rushing about, the sights and sounds, the tourists, the museums and theatres, taking glimpses upwards and looking at buildings. I am a Londoner born and bred, I went to university there, I spent a small amount of time living just off Tottenham Court Road. The chance to wander, to look and to have a moment where I was not doing anything else was simply a joy.
I was a little bit hindered as I had Fifi in her pushchair, so I was perhaps a bit slower than usual. I put aside my mean-ness and went into Starbucks for a coffee and muffin. Sitting down on the sofa with Fifi and having the chance to have a little chat and play was a totally unique experience. I realised how lovely it must be just to have one child and not need to go to work. I felt that somehow we reconnected and I enjoyed her company. It was most of the best parenting moments that I have had. How sad is that!
We wandered around Covent Garden, a lot of it was shut, but somehow seeing the crowds, the street entertainers, the buildings was invigorating. For me, life is a very provincial existence. Yes, St Albans is fairly cosmopolitan for a suburban town, but its just not quite as exiting. Things don’t really change, the weird and the wacky people are the same ones week in week out. The opportunities for culture are the same week in week out and it’s just not very thrilling. Yes, the park is beautiful but its not really a hive of exciting thrilling natural scenes or animals. I think that the fact that I don’t tend to go more than about 10 miles from here has lead to a general mundane trudge of life and that this is one of the things that is getting me down. I am used to a lot more.
I imagine that this is something that happens to a lot of people, once they have children. To be honest, it is something that I vowed would never happen to me. People have been telling me to be more selfish, make more time for myself, do more things for me and I have been ignoring this advice. However, I have realised that this is so important, my own happiness and welfare have such a big influence on others. What’s more, I think its incredibly important for children to be open to a wide range of life experiences. From this moment onwards, I vow to do more for me and to spend some time just sitting with the children without thinking about the washing up, ironing, work and so forth.