It's funny you know, how sorting out all those things in my head has allowed the fog to clear so that I can see the good times in my past as well as the bad.
It has become like a photo album, where most of the horrible stuff is now just a series of black and white photos and the good stuff is in full colour. It has allowed me to recall moments with fondness instead of always looking back with pain.
And now I am building happy memories with the little one.
Tonight we went to the M&S cafe for dinner as we do once a week. She has been desperate to wear a 'schooliform' since she went back to school. Only the nursery kids can wear their own clothes but she doesn't care about that! So I bought her a bunch of white polo shirts for school and she loves that.
So we went to the cafe with her in a white shirt. And had purple juice in a carton. Which she blew into.
It went everywhere. My response? "never mind".
I will never shout at her for making a mess of her clothes. Children's feelings and memories are way more precious than their clothes.
Where does that come from?
I used to get beaten for even the slightest stain on my clothes. I spent my life too terrified to do anything that might make a mess of them. When the inevitable did happen I remember spending ages in the school toilets scrubbing at my top or trousers to try and get rid of the stain. It never worked of course. It made it worse. And then there was that feeling of terror because at the end of school I would go home and face the consequences.
So stains don't matter. Clothes can be washed and if that doesn't work we'll get new ones. My daughter's photo album will be filled with colourful pictures.