Turning back the clock

My parents took the girls back to Swindon on Saturday afternoon; they’re staying there until Wednesday, which has given the Lovely Melanie and myself a blissfully relaxing weekend.

Yesterday (Sunday) in particular, was heavenly.  We went out to see a friend’s band play in Hoxton (or “London’s Fashionable Hoxton” as I like to call it) the night before so were slightly hungover…

But it didn’t matter!  No one woke us up at 7am; no one wanted breakfast at 7.30; no one needed entertaining or feeding or wiping down or anything!

It really struck me how easy our day was at about 4pm.  That’s when Operation Bedtime normally lumbers into gear – even though bedtime isn’t until 7.  There’s dinner to be cooked, not to mention:

  • dinner to be eaten
  • bath time
  • pyjama time
  • hair-drying time
  • warm milk time
  • teethy time
  • wee-wee time
  • homework time
  • and story time

before, finally, we hit the nirvana of bed time or sleepy time.  And not infrequently there’s also tantrum time (or “benny time” as we refer to it) from an especially tired child; “playing computer games with Daddy time” or “watching a film downstairs time” (usually something with James Bond – all of which have been shown over the last few months, and have led to some interesting discussions…)

Only after Operation Bedtime concludes do the grown-ups get to have some dinner and some time to do grown-up stuff.  Sadly, “grown-up stuff” these days mostly consists of collapsing onto the sofa for an hour or two.

At 4pm yesterday we didn’t need to do any of that.  The pressure was completely off.  I’d just woken from an afternoon nap and decided to read a bit before playing Crysis 2 for three hours (and I could have played some more, if I’d wanted to…)

The Lovely Melanie keeps asking me “Don’t you miss them?  I miss them.” to which I reply, “Yes, I miss them, but for the last six years I’ve also missed quiet Sunday afternoons spent reading the paper so I can live with the heartache.

We spoke to my parents and the girls on Skype, and it looked and sounded mental where they are.  Everyone looked to be having fun, but, as I say, I’ve had plenty of that kind of fun these past few years.  I was thoroughly enjoying some grown-up fun. 🙂

One other nice thing to mention: being out with the Lovely Melanie on Saturday night was so much fun.  We had a quiet meal in a Vietnamese place in Hoxton and then went to the Underbelly where we met some friends and watched their band, The Dacoits.

It’s been so long since we were out together like that: just the two of us with no, ahem, distractions, but it reminded me why we got married in the first place.  At one point I looked across the dance floor and happened to see her happily chatting with someone.  And she looked so beautiful I couldn’t help but stare at her and smile, thinking proudly, “That’s my wife.” 🙂

The day before (Friday) was my first counselling session, which was interesting.  It was less structured but otherwise pretty much as I thought it would be.  We spent most of the session talking about what had happened to Trev, my memories of him and reactions to his death; plus, how I felt I was dealing with both that and the ongoing fall-out from it.  Basically, I seemed to be setting the scene for Russell, my counsellor, and giving him something to work with in later sessions.

When I came out I wouldn’t say I felt better, but I was quite thoughtful about my experiences of the past six months.  And – good grief – it is nearly six months since Trev died now.  The next appointment is on Friday again, and I’m quietly optimistic that they’re going to help.

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