Yeah. About that.
If your marriage has been as prolific as ours has been, a quiet night in probably isn’t something you can remember; lately we feel blessed if everyone has beetled off to bed by 10pm, and that includes the boy, who is not famed for his early nights. Latterly, Max and I have taken to sneaking off to the pub once a week purely so we can have some conversation which takes place before we’ve fallen asleep once and that doesn’t involve 16 interruptions to mediate over unexpected in-house acquisitions and
murders mergers (stolen knickers) or more often than not, requests for counselling, careers advice and assistance building something out of Lego.
And it is lovely, that trip out once a week, a welcome respite from the hurly burly (read ‘mayhem’) of the life we’ve constructed for ourselves. It’s a blissful, adult break – made all the better for the fact that it is facilitated by the kindness of almost grown up daughters who know that it matters for us to get some time just for us. We look after them and get them where they need to go – and they look after us a little in return.
But – and it is an important but -the point is, we don’t get those bits of time more often for a very good reason; we CREATED a life for ourselves where they would take 17 years to come round again as an option. WE created all these people in our house, this army of people who share it with us, and we did it for a reason. And now, even after all this time, the best way of spending an evening is with them.
The best way of having family date night is when unexpectedly no one goes out for their evening gym or dancing and suddenly we find ourselves scrumming in a tickle fight on the floor of the living room while daddy tries to save his slippers from kidnapping and whoever is the victim shrieks “Don’t! Stop! Don’t! Stop!… DON’T STOP!!!!” – the tickle safety phrase in this house being “I’m going to wee!!!!”
The best way of spending date night here is when most of the family gather round a table for a game of crib, or whist or one of the board games we hoard and don’t get out enough due to the frustration of marauding toddlers. It’s when we gather in the living room (or, as in that photo, the main room of our beloved holiday cottage destination) and put down the technology, grab some communal snacks and play and laugh till all the worries and problems have disappeared.
It’s amazing how much pleasure you can get from all being in one place; life is so hectic now and we are spread around town so often. In the here, there and everywhere of growing children and their lives’, it is easy to find the casual slump time has slipped away:- the Mario Kart tournaments, the crashing on the sofa and scoring Strictly Come Dancing contestants to our own, carefully constructed formula and competition rules, binge watching Merlin and Doctor Who together, dipping in and out of the melee of family time.
In the few scant months left when all of the 7 of us who live here can be together – the things to relish are Josie and her punctilious division of MatchMakers and sweets, where the rest of us would dive unscrupulous and cheating to gain the most for ourselves (rules of a large family ‘shout loud, eat fast or have a Josie in your midst’!)
An evening in isn’t an evening in without a strop over what film to watch (half of us want Batman, half Brother Bear, Josie doesn’t care as long as it isn’t Wall*E…), or a fight over who sits next to who, a grumble over the sound (or a brother being too loud), someone having smelly feet or taking up too much sofa.
So yes, from time to time I long for a sumptuous meal cooked and delivered to my door, an evening of luxury and peace (with or without husband!) calorie free yummy treats, roll top bath and someone to mix my cocktails, but over all, that view on the left, curled up in pjs, noisy and eating all the chocolate? Perfect.
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For your chance to win, simply pick up a promotional pack of Velvet Classic or Balm facial tissues and follow the instructions on pack.
Thanks to Velvet Facial Tissues for working with me on this post.