Yesterday was a strange day. Since this whole working thing cropped up I have still been able to attend most things that the children have been involved in, and they have been mostly unaffected by me having another focus in my life. I’ve been there for illness, meetings, appointments, performances, etc.
This week I’ve found myself a bit torn though. We’ve been working in the office for just over a month and to all intents and purposes the kids are none the wiser. Until yesterday when I had my first “works do” (is it even called that any more?) for 12 years. And it turned out to be the same day as the KS2 lantern festival, which A was taking part in. The work do plan was to work in the office all day and then go straight over to the pub across the road for dinner. Lovely, but I can’t go to the festival. The mum in me yelled “forget the dinner, you’ve had loads of dinners, this is your child’s Christmas performance”. The child in me stamped her foot and said “but I haven’t been on an expenses-paid jolly for TWELVE YEARS!!!!!!!!”. My inner child won. Selfish, yes. Did I feel horrible at 5.30pm imagining A walking out with her lantern and me not being there to watch? Yes, I had a gut wrenching moment. Did she actually miss me? Maybe a tiny bit but she had thoroughly enjoyed tea at her friends house and she was going straight off to the pantomime with Brownies after the singsong so she was pretty happy actually, thank you very much.
And I had such a great evening with my four co-workers (we’re a small business!) – I laughed until I cried, drank a few sherbets (dad’s expression) and ate a delicious dinner. I was slightly apprehensive about the evening as I get the impression that 3 out 4 of them are pretty big drinkers (in a non-alcoholic kind of way). I’m a true lightweight and hate feeling drunk. I can drink maybe 3 glasses of rose wine over the course of an evening, and I’ll get a bit of a “glow” but that’s my lot. My concerns increased when a bottle of prosecco emerged at 4.30pm but I managed to make my glass last an hour, before heading to the pub. A glass of rose – another hour. A cocktail “do I really have to?” while eating starters – another hour. You’re getting the gist now. Two glasses of water to every alcoholic glass, and not a flush or glow in sight. Very grown up and sensible, but still such a fun evening with lots of great stories from back in the day when the 3 owners first met. Lots of banter and p***-taking but I reckon that’s a good sign that they see I can take a joke and think of me as properly one of the team. A great feeling which I’ve not had for nearly 15 years (when I had a top boss and fab colleagues).
So, although I let my inner child win the battle, I ended up feeling so much more like the proper grown up me that I remember. A bit guilty, but I can live with that. Roll on next year. (I’ll just need to check the calendar better next time…….)