I sat, the other day, cup of coffee in hand, looking through old photos: Me with friends, rosy cheeked, striking silly poses; Random moments captured by J in our early dating days; Laughing and dancing at weddings and parties; On holiday, tanned and happy.
It was all over my young, fresh-faced skin: FUN. Reckless, uninhibited, plentiful fun.
Lately I've wondered about this thing called fun. It's not that I don't have fun with the boys. Countless times I've caught myself grinning from ear to ear at the sight of Oliver and Matthew playing together, or laughing out loud at something Matthew has said. Sometimes we dance with him around the living room. But this kind of fun is always accompanied by the fact that I'm still in charge. The fun has limitations because I'm responsible.
The fun I'm talking about is the thing that occurs when everything else slips away and all that's left is the moment you're in.
Like sitting on a veranda with the sun setting and a glass of wine and the sound of music floating around you. Or throwing your head back in laughter over an old story with friends. Or lying in the sand with only sound of the ocean to fill your head and nothing to stir you but the warmth of the sun.
I thought for a while, that kind of FUN was on hold.
But then last week we went out. Twice in one week - just the two of us. Once on a date, and once to a friend's 40th party. It was like a ray of light had broken through the clouds and scattered sparkly little drops of hope on me. And as I laughed and chatted and felt the buzz of the atmosphere I realized, I can still have this.
Yes, FUN still lives here people. It's official.
I'm still a mum while the fun is being had - always aware that somewhere the boys are sleeping or stirring. But the fun can still be had. And in a way the fun feels better than ever. Because this time I feel it with a new appreciation. And because I know that later I'll return home and place a kiss on their sleepy cheeks.