November 29, 2011
But, with the arrival of a dear friend who's staying for almost four weeks imminent, we thought it was an opportune time to take a step we've been talking about taking for some time.
So far (four nights in) so good. Their little room which is little more than 3mx3m is a bit crammed full of their beds, toys, clothes and books but it's definitely cute and cosy (not so appealing when it's 29c at 6am) and it's freed up a whole room that Max did little more than sleep in. They have always played together in Ollie's room and all the toys have lived in there, we really only had to work out how to cram Max's cot and his change table in there. They have been going to bed reasonably well, although we still put Max down first while Ollie reads on his own for a bit and then gets another story or two or three before he tip-toes into Max's room and clambers into bed before very quietly stalling for the usual 45 minutes or so, asking for more water, to go to the toilet, for another Tigger, another hug...
And so, we now have space for Kate who arrives this weekend. It's a mess right now but every evening this week we are embarking on 'Project Arrival' which involves moving furniture, setting up a bed (if we can find all the bits) and making things pretty so by Saturday, we should have a comfortable room for Kate and some semblance of calm.
I'm so excited but nervous too. It's been a long time since we've played host to anyone, I don't think we have since mum visited 20 months ago, just after Max was born. She stayed for three weeks and we were so preoccupied with looking after the boys and getting to know Max, it was a bit of a blur. Kate's staying for almost 4 weeks, which is longer than anyone has stayed with us and I'm a little worried about the chaos that she will be contending with when she's here and how well we will be able to make her stay memorable and for the right reasons. We've known each other for 17 years, but in that time, my life has changed dramatically, and it's been some time since we've spent more than a fleeting evening together, let alone four weeks. Sometimes I think I can't really remember what's it's like to be myself, the person I was before I became a mum and my life became a list of endless tasks and chores. What will I say and do when she is here?
But more than anything, I'm excited. I'm excited that she will be here to make Christmas with us, help us adorn the tree, cook delicious food, share hot, humid summer evenings together on our back deck, talking about where we are in life, her incredible experiences seeing this world, and the trivialities of life. She'll be here when we celebrate Will's birthday (weather permitting with an afternoon of drinks, fairy lights and music in our back garden) and she'll be here on Christmas morning when Ollie is going bananas over presents and Santa. She'll be here when he's throwing tantrums, she'll be here when we are too exhausted to do anything after the kids are in bed but sit very still, she'll be here when we are folding piles and piles of laundry and she'll be here when I am thinking about her. She won't be 10,000 miles away, or asleep when I'm awake, or working when I'm dreaming.
She'll be right here, in our home. And we'll be together.