Day 70! Ten weeks!
#2 and I have gone to stay with a friend and her daughter in the country for the weekend.
He is thrilled that he doesn't have to share Mummy with his sisters for 2 whole days. And given that I usually go nowhere without 3 children, a dog and the husband in tow, a road trip a deux is strangely liberating, even if my companion is only nine years old.
I brought with me a bottle of champagne for my friend and some alcohol free beers for myself. When I handed over the bottle, my friend explained sheepishly that she's had a horrible stomach problem and is off dairy, meat and alcohol. Poor thing.....but RESULT!
On the stairs up to my bedroom there's a wooden board hanging with a motto in it. I usually hate that sort of thing, but this one has got stuck in my head, going round and round incessantly. It reads:
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.
It struck me that for decades, at the slightest hint of a storm, I've used alcohol as an escape, an anaesthetic, a crutch, until it passes.
Feeling a bit anxious? Have a drink. Had a bad day? Pour the wine. Not sure how to deal with a major problem? Start with Chablis.
The storm blows in, we batten down the hatches, wrap ourselves up tightly and use both hands to clasp the glass of whisky.
No more. Now we need to peel off the layers, throw open the doors and run out barefoot into the rain.
The ice cold water stings your skin, the mud squelches between your toes, your hair is plastered to your head but you are alive and you are dancing! Now both your hands are free and you can use them to touch the sky.
And the next time the rain blows in you don't feel so scared. You know you don't need the whisky. Instead of a knot of fear, there's a sense of anticipation, of exhilaration.
So, friends, there may be storms ahead of us, but we are holding hands and dancing in the rain.