It’s happened. I’m 40. I’d imagined waking up one of two ways: like a) a bona-fide grown up – all swishy ‘done’ hair and wise, knowing expression or b) a wizened old woman. Instead, I woke up wearing my pyjama bottoms both inside out and back to front (it’s a skill) with a bedhead and a hangover. I wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or disappointed but found, to my surprise, that I felt happy. And grateful. It felt like the spectre that had been tapping me on my shoulder ever since I turned 39 turned out to be a jovial Genie, like the one from Disney’s Aladdin which we went to see as my birthday treat with the kids. (Review coming soon!). As I’ve already got everything I want, I’ve decided to pass my 3 wishes on to my kids…
wish 1: Have no fear
Right now, aged seven and five, you already have far less fear than me so my advice is: keep scaling the top of every climbing wall. Embrace change. Always be bold, loud, proud. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ even if other people are saying yes. And remember, having no fear is very different to being brave. If you’re not afraid of letting go of your emotions, being brave will be something you just are, not something you have to pretend to feel.
wish 2: Be in the moment
I hope you’ll remember that bouncing on trampolines is always fun. That most jobs can (and should) wait when there is a kitchen disco to be had and that you always keep reminding me that the best thing you can do in life is to learn how to just… be. It’s something you guys do so well. Me, not so much.
wish 3: Listen to your instinct
Instinct is something grown-ups talk about a lot. I hope your dad and I can teach you that you are the best authority of your life. Yep, that’s right: You. know. best. (Obviously we don’t plan on telling you that for quite a few years until we’ve provided you with the emotional tools to use aforementioned instinct.) When you know the humans you aspire to be; the son, daughter, friends, siblings, colleagues, bosses, mum or dad you wish to become, that’s when our job as parents (but never ever our love) will be done.