Since we moved down to Devon, life has never strayed too far from perfect. There are times when it’s been hard: even before Arthur came along the challenge of juggling renovating the house with a stressful job an hour’s commute away and a husband tackling medical school as a mature student was pretty exhausting, and motherhood hasn’t exactly left me feeling any more rested. But all of that has just been part of realising our dreams, so it’s impossible to sit back and reflect without seeing it as all part of the perfection.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always dreamt of living by the sea. I never thought it would actually happen, but now it has. Whenever I walk outside my front door I feel like I’m on holiday: views like this never fail to nourish my soul, making anything seem possible even if I’ve been up all night with a teething baby.
That teething baby is of course part of the dream too. My maternal instincts kicked in way before I was old enough to have kids, but after a string of bad relationships in my twenties I thought that perhaps it wasn’t meant to be. Then along came Leigh, and together we’ve made the most perfect creature I could ever have imagined. Even if sleeping through the night is not his strong point and he has instead an incredible talent for making a mess.
The third part of the master plan was the writing. I loved to write as a child, dabbled tentatively for years even after the self-doubt of adolescence kicked in, but never dared to dream I’d actually get to spend my days (or parts of them at least) writing novels whilst looking at the sea.
For the last three months my perfect days have definitely involved a good chunk of writing: whatever else me and Arthur got up to, if I could spend an hour or two losing myself in the world of my novel and chipping away at the word count goal I’d set myself then I’d be happy. If Arthur and I managed to get out into the fresh air, even better if we managed to combine that with meeting up with friends, then things were pretty damned good.
Despite all this, in our day to day lives something (or someone) has been missing. More for Arthur than me, though of course I’ve missed him too: on days when Leigh has been up and out of the house before seven Arthur has called his name excitedly as we’ve come down the stairs for breakfast an hour or two later. One day last week he started doing it in his sleep: murmuring ‘dada’ as he cosied up to me in the sling, then waking up and shouting it as if he expected to see him standing there. I know he’ll be home by dinner time, but for Arthur I think those days must seem like an eternity. And even in the evenings, although we manage to eat together most nights, Leigh is exhausted and often still has work to do.
But now it’s the holidays! And we have two whole weeks of Daddy time. I’ve finished the novel – the first draft at least – so have a little while to adjust to the different rhythms of the editing process. We have some time in London to look forward to, as well as a week by a different sea in Cyprus for our first family beach holiday. After several months of busyness and achieving, I cannot wait for some very different kinds of perfect days, ones filled with doing not very much at all apart from hanging out and enjoying each other’s company as a family.
Thank you to Sara at ‘Mum turned Mom’ for inspiring this post with her prompt ‘A Perfect Day’.