I got married two weeks ago.
I’m now a married lady, ‘the Mrs,’ the wife, the old ball and chain. And it’s a stage of life I feel more than ready for. After all, my husband and I (wooo...) already had the house, the cars and the beautiful daughter, so it feels as though we’ve simply put the (incredibly expensive!) icing on the delicious cake that is our life together.
But it’s more than that. It’s a shift imperceptible to possibly anybody but me, but I’ve been noticing for a while the change in myself as I slowly ease my way up the generational ranks from ‘young person’ to ‘married mummy.’ Until just a couple of years ago I could still happily have placed myself at the metaphorical ‘kids table’ of any party. But now I’m the parent, my mum and dad are the grandparents and the circle of life has inched around another click. And marriage and parenthood have sealed something for me that I’ve felt coming for a while.
And it’s not just that my knees creak when I bend down (which they do) or that I can’t sink into a chair without an involuntary grunt these days (which I can’t). It’s that my idea of what constitutes a good time has honestly changed. I made the most of every second of my twenties; parties and nights out, sharing my first flat with my best friend, dating and travelling and all the other things you’re meant to be doing in that fantastic time when you’re old enough to be independent and young enough to be free of responsibilities. I had a blast. I remember, when I was 22, a holiday with the girls when we went out every night at 8pm, danced until 7am the next day, then stumbled home and grabbed a few hours sleep before the prime sunbathing hours. We lived this way for an entire week. It was the most fun I’d ever had. And it sounds utterly exhausting to me now. I still love to hang out with these same best buds, but, these days, shots and nightclubs get passed over for wine and dinner. Giggly gossiping about boys has been replaced with talk of children and jobs and we’re always ready for a cup of tea by 11pm. And I’ve never for a moment felt like fighting this natural progression - this next stage, richer and more colourful than I could ever have imagined, is fitting me like a glove. But do I ever miss the freedom of my old life? Not for a second - freedom is for wusses. Even the best night out doesn’t hold a candle to the feeling I get when my daughter plants a sloppy kiss on my mouth or calls me Mama. Dating might have had its fun times, but sharing a bottle of wine with my lovely husband wins every time. When you’re twenty-something and carefree, it’s hard to imagine life could possibly get any better.
I’m thrilled and delighted to report that it does.