September 18, 2018

Christmas, 2017

We leave Iona to spend Christmas in London with my love's family. The way down is something out of a fairytale – snow has fallen overnight and blanketed the Highlands, hanging heavy on the pines.

In London I get food poisoning and Saoirse gets it after me – we spend a night vomiting and a very boring morning in the ER – luckily she's fine and we get to go home. Another day we take my nephew to the Winter Wonderland and we chase each other through the fair, drinking mulled wine and eating candy floss. We look like a strange little family. Saoirse is fast asleep in the carrier and misses most of the excitement, waking up only to stare at the bright lights.

We don't stay long in London, we head to the countryside where the family has rented a house to host everybody. The village it's in is your perfect english fantasy, with lovely cottages and lots of cafés with delicious food. It's sort of strange, spending Christmas in a different family, but it's also fascinating to watch these dynamics from a foreign point of view – so many cousins together remind me of my own, and I miss them.

It feels like we've just packed as much entertainment and life as we could in the last two weeks, and seeing the shape of Iona appears through the fog as the ferry crosses the sound feels right. We breathe, again. We spend new year's eve with family and some new friends in the hostel, sharing a meal and our plans for the year to come.

The first day of a new year is exactly like the others – Saoirse wakes up in bed between us, we cuddle, then put on our warmest clothes and go look at the sea. My love and his dad run into the icy water for a swim. We run back, make breakfast, and settle on the sofa to watch the view whilst the baby plays at our feet. She is five months old today. And as she settles for the night I sing to her, and tell her that no matter what this year holds, it will be magical. If I do nothing this year, but nurse and rock and cradle – if I do nothing but be her mother... it will be enough, and plenty.

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