THE 6TH BIRTHDAY AND THE PLAN
Today is Tilly’s 6th birthday. It’s exactly six years since she was reluctantly hoiked from her peaceful cocoon and thrust unwillingly into the harsh reality of the antiseptic-scented Halifax maternity ward. On arrival, she looked like she’d done a round with Baby Eubank. I’d have screamed the place down, too.
We went downstairs and she hopped about like a frog on a hotplate as she eyed-up the small pile of presents that lay awaiting her approval / disappointment (remembering a previous ‘fake Barbie’ experience, and to never, EVER, expect a child to appreciate opening… new clothes, no matter how ‘comfy’ and ‘warm’ they look to me, as a Mother.)
As she ripped off the paper to reveal her new Pink Ladies jacket (we’re both immense Grease fans) I took to hopping about on the hot plate by proxy. They didn’t do them in my size.
We did the ‘cake’ thing with Gav recording it on his iphone, only to realise that the effect of turning lights out for candle-blowing actually resulted in a pitch black 45 second film with the dim flicker of one candle, accompanied by Gav’s dulcet tones as a soundtrack whilst he sings ‘Happy Birthday’ not only very badly, but also whilst still asleep. Delete.
This was my daughter’s birthday celebration. It was her day to open pressies, feel special, and to be giddy about the mere fact of turning ‘6’ for no other reason than it sounds far more impressive to her than being 5.
But, it was also my celebration, because, by virtue of having my daughter 6 years ago today – it marks the anniversary of My Plan.
MY PLAN was (I thought) well conceived, thoroughly researched, and foolproof. I would enter into the Virgin London Marathon for 2011 as a goal to greet me on the other side of motherhood.
I had just 6 and a half months to equip myself in being marathon-ready from the moment my spectacularly reluctant bun made an appearance out of my most accommodating oven.
In reality, My Plan wasn’t any of those things. It was utterly naïve, and blindly thrown together in some euphoric ‘I WON’T GO BACK ON PROZAC BY VIRTUE OF THIS PREGNANCY / I WON’T ALLOW MYSELF TO KICK MY TITS ALONG THE FLOOR AS A RESULT OF MY BODY BEING RAVAGED BY MY OFFSPRING, OR SOME ENDLESS ‘COFFEE & CAKES’ MERRY-GO-ROUND OF MUMS ‘N’ BABIES SUPPORT GROUPS’ desperation.
So, from a motivational perspective then – it worked.
What transpired from that moment was a journey that changed me. The goal, the sense of purpose; the quiet, lonely times when I couldn’t believe I’d ever get there; the incessant drive I had to reach the start line and prove to myself that I could do this; the story that emerged within me of a person I never believed I could be. It was through My Plan that I REALLY found running, and – actually – I found myself.
All the rest – as they say – is history.
*There is obviously far more to the story, but for that, you’ll have to wait for the book 😉