Sunday, 26 April 2015

Finding the inner child

Day 56, and it's #2's birthday!

The rule in the SoberMummy house is that, when it's your birthday, you get to design your perfect day.

#2 is a creature of habit. He knows what he likes. So there were no surprises. Today's schedule involved starting with the grand present ritual, moving onto a day at Legoland, and ending up with steak frites and chocolate fondant at his favourite restaurant. Exactly the same as last year. And the year before.

The grand present ritual starts when the birthday person wakes up (usually around 7am). They then wake everyone else up, and everyone piles into Mr and Mrs SoberMummy's bed (including the terrier). The birthday person then has to find all the presents hidden around the room (warmer....warmer...colder....boiling hot!) and open them (to lots of oohs and ahhs).

Whilst today was ostensibly the same as the last two years, it was also completely different.

For a start, I didn't have to feign enthusiasm when an overexcited small person jumped on my head at 7am. I woke up, on a Sunday morning, after a Saturday night, just as excited that morning had arrived as he was.

Once we'd littered the bedroom with wrapping paper and managed to get everyone dressed and ready, we set off for Legoland.

Now, when I was #2's age, I loved theme parks. My idea of a perfect day out was charging around the roller coasters, dodgems, water slides and so on. But I grew out of all that years ago. I thought everyone did. On the last few visits to Legoland (and the like), I would plaster a grin to my face and hope no-one could tell that I'd much rather be at home in my favourite armchair with the Sunday papers and a large glass of wine.

But today - bizarrely, and totally unexpectedly, I rediscovered my sense of wonder. I sat with the children, park maps spread out, planning what we would do first, then next, then after that. I went down the water shoot 3 times - happily. I queued patiently. I went up and down and upside down, and had a blast.

It stuck me as totally ironic that we alcohol addicts end up emotionally immature, and yet prematurely jaded. And in giving up the booze I am simultaneously growing up and finding my inner child.

So whilst I am, in a myriad of ways, terrified of the 'never agains', there are some 'never agains' that I embrace wholeheartedly. For example:

1. Never again will I feel guilty because I cannot match my child's excitement at 7am on their birthday.
2. Never again will I have to cope with a theme park or a soft play centre with a hangover.
3. Never again will I waste days of my precious life wishing I was somewhere else.

Happy birthday #2, and lots of love to all of you.

SM x

Related post: Sundays: hair of the dog, Discovering mindfulness


  1. You're absolutely right about focussing on the positives of the 'never again' mantra. I found myself driving past a pub on Friday evening thinking how nice it would be to go there (at the end of the week) sit in the sun in the beer garden and enjoy a refreshing alcohol free cocktail. Now there's a first! I love waking up without a hint of alcohol in my system. Keep up the good work x

  2. P.s happy birthday #2. My children are desperate to go to Legoland.

  3. Dear SM,
    That sounds like such a great ritual for a birthday!
    What fun!
    As I am a little older than you are, I am faced daily with the fact that I am not getting any days back. This is it. I choose how to spend my time here. I might go today or 30 years from today.
    I am glad you are choosing the path of life with your family!!

    1. We could all go any day, Wendy, which is why we need to make the most of what we have! Love you x

  4. I think I need to explain some background to my 'refreshing alcohol free cocktail'. I spent days 47, 48 & 49 on a city break. Having spent days 40-46 with the internal debate of 'how am I going to cope/ I can have '3 days off' then go back to sobriety can't I?!/what a wasted opportunity to not spend 3 days drinking in such a beautiful city etc I made the decision not to drink. And I can honestly say, making that decision and sticking to it wasn't half as challenging as I had expected. When we arrived the first thing I ordered was... .an alcohol free cocktail. I was sat in the sun, outside in a continental cafe and my 'mocktail' was devine. Over the break I tried many more, along with the local alcohol-free beer (once I'd stringently checked it was in fact alcohol free) and only had to resort to diet coke once. So to pass a pub back home and still get that 'refreshing' memory took me by complete surprise. Nobody is perfect, especially me. x

    1. Well done lushnomore! That's amazing! I bet you enjoyed all the sight seeing etc a lot more without the hangovers too? I love mocktails - they are lifesavers. And I LOVE AF beer, although I'm becoming a bit worried about it - I'm doing a post on that one soon.... You're doing great. Hugs SM x

  5. Sober life at its best .What a lovely post SM . Flossie. X

  6. "we alcohol addicts end up emotionally immature, and yet prematurely jaded".

    I find this very powerful, and I feel a pang of sadness for the insecure, blase' young woman I was. But, you know, her path brought wonderful things too, things I am only now - at Day 46 - starting fully to cherish. I *love* my life, and I *love* being free of alcohol to realise just how much I love it. Also, since I'm clearly all loved up: I love your blog - I am reading it from the beginning - thank you, thank you, thank you.