To Hull and Back
Last week it was Easter Holidays, so it was a great opportunity to have some time out and do something different with Kaleb. The journey took me somewhere mentally and emotionally that I wasn’t expecting…
Kaleb is six and he absolutely loves anything to do with the sea. I remembered years ago, before I had him, going to a massive sea life centre down in Hull and I was thinking to myself that it would be so lovely to have a little Mammy and Son time there! Kaleb is a real Daddy’s boy, so honestly, I don’t get a look in when he’s at home - unless I appear with a football or a cookie!
I looked into it and yes, the place was still there - ‘The Deep’ - so I made the arrangements and booked us a house nearby to stay in as it also occured to me, that whilst we are always taking him on trips, I’ve never actually been away with him just on my own. We have always been with family, friends or Neil has been there too. I was shocked when I realised it! So time just the two of us sounded perfect to me because...
Well is it just me all you other Mam’s out there - or do you just feel like the resident nag most of the time?
“No, you can’t have juice this late.”
“No, you can’t eat that just before dinner.”
“No, you can’t go to the softplay for the 3rd day on the run”
“No, you can’t have a whole bag of jellies at the cinema.”
“No, you can’t leave the huge pile of toys in the middle of the hallway.”
Even I tune me out
Is it just me? I actually get sick of hearing my own voice - does this ever happen to you too? I genuinely am starting to sound like the proverbial fishwife! So a little trip of just fun to somewhere I knew he would love to go put me smack bang in the Hero position - for a change!
The car journey was brilliant, fun and games, singing our socks off and letting him eat the jellies for once. I mean, what did we do for car journeys before The Greatest Showman and A Star Is Born..? What did we sing our lungs out to before those two beauties came along?
When we got there we parked up and in we went. The gasping started as soon as we went in. It was literally like standing next to a Mexican jumping bean. I thought he might actually burst or pass out with the amount of excited squeals coming out of him! I was also super-impressed that he noticed the little souvenir shop is called, ‘The Deepartment Store’...”Ha, Mam, look what they did there, I like that!”. Nothing gets past this one honestly.
Now what happened next I can only describe as being witness to pure joy. I was moved so much by his sheer delight, overwhelming happiness and awe for what he was seeing. The crazy thing was, I’ve actually been there before! But it was like I was seeing it for the first time too.
The first section is all about pre-historic stuff. I won’t pretend to understand. I walked through the section the last time thinking ‘It’s a lot of old fossils’, but because Kaleb is obsessed with watching documentaries and prehistoric animals, I actually knew the names of the ancient giant fish and reptiles. I was as excited as he was to see a replica megalodon jaw!
It was like Christmas
It struck me how much my life had changed. You see, the last time I was in this place, we had been through two years of infertility hell. Praying, hoping, being poked and prodded, taking medication that made me feel ill and having our first miscarriage - all to be told that we should maybe prepare ourselves for it not ever happening for us.
The last time I had walked through this place, my heart was breaking and I was searching for answers. I had walked through this building with all of its information, beautiful fish and rare sea life - numb. I hadn’t really taken any of it in. I was trapped in my internal torture of not knowing what to do.
Seeing it now, through his eyes, I marvelled at how far we had come on our journey. How at that dark time, I had somehow held on to a faith, a knowing, a deep belief somewhere that I would be someone’s Mammy, however that happened.
And here we were, with my little boy, lit up just like it was Christmas morning.
Find the wonder every day
We had so much fun that we stopped for lunch then did the whole thing again. I soaked up every second of seeing his delight and I also vowed to myself that I would do all I could in any circumstance to see things through this sense of wonderment.
Wherever you are today, whatever internal struggles you may be having, stop. Look up, look around you and find something to have joy in right in this moment. It’s all around us. And trust that your journey is happening in the way it is for a reason. Allow it to happen and keep moving forward.
Wonderful things are in store for you…