We’ve just returned from a holiday, our first since our son was born almost a year ago. It could have been a disastrous week (I’m a pessimist, I was prepared). For a start we were sharing the house with another couple and their baby boy, which was probably the thing that scared me most about this trip. What if I accidentally walked in on one of them using the loo, or caught one of them creeping about semi-naked in the middle of the night looking for a snack? We’ve known them for a while, but I didn’t know if our friendship would survive that kind of embarrassment.
We’re also quite different to them, and I wasn’t sure how much we had in common beyond our faith, the high school the two guys went to, and the fact that we both had our babies around the same time last year. What if we were to run out of things to talk about on the first day? Should we then make up an excuse and leave immediately, despite the fact that it had taken hours to pack our entire apartment into the car (who knew babies needed so much stuff?!)?
We were heading to Mt Victoria, which everyone but me seemed to know would be freezing. I had at least three conversations along these lines:
Me: We’re heading to Mt Victoria in the first week of the holidays.
Them: Oh, Mt Vic’s beautiful! Cold, though.
So I wasn’t too excited about the location. I don’t like the cold. The cold makes me whingey. I was cosily pregnant last winter, and since giving birth my body seems to have forgotten how to warm itself. I was slightly concerned about how I'd cope with the fresh mountain air.
And finally, we were sharing a 3-bedroom house. The main bedroom, where my husband and I ended up sleeping, had a walk-in-wardrobe, which was big enough to fit our son’s cot inside (we were fine with this arrangement as long as we referred to it as his “little room”, and not “the cupboard”). This could have meant that with the first rays of sunlight our son could have discovered us sleeping just a couple of metres away from him and taken advantage of our proximity by crying out to us regularly every night following.
It could have been a disastrous week, but it wasn’t. There were no awkward moments, no uncomfortable silences. The layers we’d packed were enough to cope with the temperature when we ventured outdoors, and there was an amazing heater which kept us roasty-toasty warm when we stayed in. And the curtains in our bedroom were thick: no sneaky sunrays to give us away. Our son slept fairly well.
It was actually a lovely break! We went to the Logan Brae orchard and bought a box of deliciously crisp and sweet red apples...
We went to the pub in Blackheath where they sell the massive pies...
[insert photo of my husband and me wishing we’d ordered the lamb instead of the beef]
We braved the cold and went on a few walks...
And my husband and I had our first night away from our boy since his birthday, which was tinged with mild anxiety for the first 5 minutes only (What if he wakes up and freaks out? What if we die in a car accident on the way back from dinner?), and then was just fun and yummy and much appreciated. (My snap-happiness is obviously triggered by my son; I have no photos of my husband and me enjoying our date.)
The only thing dampening my fresh memories of the trip is the fact that my son caught the cold that the other little boy had. I know that I shouldn’t feel guilty about the fact that he’s sick; I can’t control these things and I’m aware that there will be many more colds to come in future years. But when he looks at me helplessly with his puffy eyes and two snakes of snot slithering from his nostrils, I can’t help but wish that at the very least I’d washed the toys more than once, even if everyone else secretly thought I was being anal.
Ah, I love this photo! It makes my heart go all warm and fuzzy. My two smiley boys and a glorious sunset; God is good.Home is good too. I’m glad we’re back.