Today was one of those days where you go through all the emotions from skin tingling pride to ugly crying your face off.
My daughter turned seven today. Seven. How can I have a seven-year-old daughter? I’m only about seventeen (plus twenty-three) myself.
And best of all, she has turned into a kind, funny, empathetic girl who I genuinely like to spend time with 75% of the time.
As if that wasn’t enough of an emotional punch in the proverbials, my son started school today. For two hours, he was with his new teacher.
He, as always, can’t remember a thing he did, who he spoke to, what he ate.
But he did say it was ‘OK’ and gave me a weak thumbs up, although I don’t think he realises that he will need to go there EVERYDAY FOREVER.
As a treat I took them both to a charity shop to spend some of their pocket money.
My ‘treats’ alternate between the charity shop and Poundland, just to keep things fresh.
Anyway, the charity shop is always a bit magic, as depending on who has dropped off all their stuff beforehand, you’re either rifling through a load of old shit or someone’s treasure.
But if you’re four and seven it’s all treasure.
And today my son found his diamond in the rough.
A JLS oversized shoulder bag that doesn’t do up.
He likes nothing more than a bag. In fact his absolute favourite thing is a bag in a bag in a bag. So this massive bag can fit in ALL his bags.
It has the four band members embossed on the front looking all tough, arms folded and farmer hats on back to front. And my son couldn’t be happier, wandering around the house, filling it up with crap.
He has now said it is his new school bag, and, let’s be frank, which four year old wouldn’t want to be seen with a mid 2000’s memorabilia man bag of an R and B band from X Factor they’ve never heard of.
Show me the boy who says they wouldn’t want that and I’ll show you a liar.
So that’s it. They’re both at school.
And I am turning forty in three days time.
Maybe that’s the real reason I’ve been ugly crying on and off all day.
I GENUNINELY hadn’t seen that one creeping up on me (apart from the massive fancy dress party I had a week ago but that doesn’t even count, that was just a party, I wasn’t ACTUALLY celebrating an 0 ending milestone.)
So I’m going to set myself a challenge.
Forty things to do that I might not have maybe considered otherwise.
I know it doesn’t have the snappy ring to it like 'thirty before I’m thirty.'
But I can’t really do 40 before I’m 40, cos that’s happening in three days.
And I work and stuff so I wouldn’t be able to get the time off to go paragliding etc.
But I guess that’s the other thing, it can’t be stuff that’s so expensive that I fuck off to Dubai to abseil down a sky scraper and as a consequence we can’t afford to get the kids new shoes.
So I think it’s stuff that makes me braver. And this 'bravery' will compliment the wonderful, insightful maturity that I am going to fully embrace in three days time.
Unfortunately, while sitting with pen and paper staring at my new beautiful stationary that I’d bought with the sole purpose of writing my amazing ‘forty things to do that I might not have maybe considered otherwise’ list, it dawned on me that I don’t have the imagination to think up anything cheap and brave that’s going to make me a better all round balanced person, beyond start doing yoga and eat vegan occasionally.
And I can’t Google a list of stuff to do, searching your own off the shelf ‘bucket list’ is about as sad sack as sending yourself an anonymous Valentine’s Day card through Moonpig (totally haven’t done that.)
So I’m going to have a think on, I’ve got days to go, loads of time.
But in the meantime, if you have any suggestions of life affirming acts that can possibly be done within the next twelve months that don’t involve getting a tattoo or taking liquid acid, let me know.
Forty, I'm all over you.