*This blog is dedicated to my boy, Shaun, who turns two on Tuesday. You've taught me more about unconditional love than any person I've ever met. And I love you.*
On Saturday morning I had the fabulous opportunity to spend some quality time with some old, dear friends. You absolutely take old friends for granted until you move away from the place you grew up, and its simply marvelous when two people you have known for over 15 years marry and live in the same city you do now. I'm so grateful for my friends Robb and Phillipa, because they know me. I never have to justify myself, excuse myself. They know me, they know my intentions, and they trust me. And on Saturday, I carpooled with two very precious new friends to Yarraville, for brunch.
But I haven't even got to the truly wonderful bit yet. Phillipa's parents were visiting from Tasmania, and would be joining us for raspberry and white chocolate muffins, fruit salad, sourdough and mercy valley cheese.
I can't explain how special it was to eat, drink tea, and talk with this amazing collection of people. People that I feel safe around. People I feel connected to, loved by. And as I was giving Phillipa's mum a big kiss goodbye, I shared something with her that I'd only just realised to be true:
I am absolutely loving everything about getting older. Not for one minute do I wish I was fourteen again. Or eighteen again. Or 21 again. Especially not 23 again. I've discovered an age where you feel confident, loved, respected. Where you are challenged, needed, and important.
I love having a little guy in my life who truly needs me. Shaun and I are best friends, we are family. And if I don't come home he shits on the carpet. Because he needs me.
But also he wants me.
Family is an incredible institution, and I'm lucky to have some amazing relationships with people in my family. I also spend time heartbroken for the cousins that are growing up so fast and if I'm lucky, I get to play lego with once a year. But my family is unique. If we don't like you, there's a pretty good chance we probably just won't talk to you. We don't have an overwhelming bond of 'family' that forces us to love each other unconditionally. And while sometimes I wish for that - there is something to be said for the fact that every person who is in my life is there because they want to be.
And so, this sappy blog comes to you from one very loved up, very happy girl. Because this weekend I was able to spend time with special friends, old and new, celebrate my baby boy's second birthday, and see Tom Ballard live at the MICF.
I'm not sure when I realised I was living the life I had always hoped for, living the life I wanted for myself. I have it. And I'm not even afraid to jinx it.
Also, wisdom and experience tells me life isn't perfect. And it won't be. But I'm not scared of imperfection. Of heartbreak. Of pain. Because everything I have experienced so far in my life has brought me to this point.
Also I have an incredible safety net. The wonderful people, who after knowing me for 15 years, still want to know how my week was. And the people I've just met - who want to come to the beach for my dog's second birthday.