One year ago today I was exploring the ruins of Pompeii with the BFG. We were holidaying on the Amalfi Coast, staying in a cosy family-run bed and breakfast just outside the town of Praiano. We had already walked the Path of the Gods, drank more limoncello spritz’s on Capri than was strictly good for us, and watched our lives flash by before our eyes more than once while our Sita bus threw itself around the narrow curves of the winding coastal road between towns.
365 short days later, I’m home in the midst of a pandemic and it’s Mother’s Day. I woke up to tepid coffee (prepared with great love by Immy in my one-cup french press) and gifts – a fluffy hot water bottle and an Africa colouring book. We snuggled in bed, Jemima curled up between us, and watched the end of Monster Family. The soup on the stove has been bubbling away for four hours, and we are putting together a DIY maths game to be uploaded onto Google Classrooms tomorrow. Our big outing for the day was stopping at the pharmacy for moisturiser and then getting an icecream for Immy. Oh! And I got a takeaway coffee, which felt like a small, rich gift of normalcy on this beautiful autumn day.
I would have been going on holiday soon, a trip to Bali which we’ve postponed by twelve months. I’m getting itchy feet, desperate for a change of scenery – ANY change of scenery. My weekend early mornings are spent with coffee in hand, poring over a stack of Lonely Planet travel guides and tracing routes on maps, dreaming of the places we’ll go next – New Zealand, Iceland, Norway. This pretty much sums up my life at the moment – dreams of grand adventures, underpinned by the daily minutiae of working, eating, sleeping, schoolwork.
But today? I’ll settle in with my lukewarm coffee, watch the same movie with Immy for the millionth time, and pretend not to notice the maths cards and cardboard bits and pieces strewn across the carpet. She’s lost three teeth this week, one of which she swallowed earlier (to our mutual amusement) along with the peanut butter ball she was eating. We’ll walk and talk, and snuggle the cat, and later when it gets dark we’ll close the curtains against the night and light our candles in the familiar ritual that marks the end of another day.
Thankful to celebrate this day with my best girl and my greatest adventure.
Happy Mother’s Day.