Then and Now

…and now.

I woke on my own terms; refreshed, full of energy and ready to meet the day.
I wake to the dulcet sounds of Zulu indignantly demanding to be released from his cot as Alpha prises my eyelids open. I feel even more exhausted than when I went to bed.

I enjoyed my last morning in my parents’ home chatting about wedding stuff over coffee and a champagne breakfast.
My husband and I casually discuss the bowel habits of our offspring over cereal and coffee. Between us we manage to get what I assure myself is something resembling a healthy breakfast into both kids.

My hair was done in an elaborate up-do. It took 150 pins and a substantial amount of hairspray to get it all up.
I run out of time to wash my hair, so it goes up in a bun as usual. To mark the special occasion, I drag a brush through it first.

I sat patiently for what seemed like an eternity while my makeup was done. I felt like a doll.
I do my special “going somewhere other than the shops” makeup (tinted moisturiser, lipstick and mascara). I narrowly avoid blinding myself as I attempt to apply eyeliner. I feel like a clown.

I finally put on my wedding dress – the most expensive thing I’ve ever worn – for real. I was laced in and – thanks to the alterations – it fits perfectly.
I stand in front of my wardrobe and deliberate between jeans and a dress. Unable to decide, I yell downstairs for advice. The shouted reply is to wear something comfy. Based on the absence of unshaven legs and the presence of pockets, I choose the jeans.

I admired my three gorgeous bridesmaids in their dresses.
We wrestle our children into clean clothing. I muse that it would be easier to place two irate octopi into string bags in a sauna.

I carefully buckled my wedding shoes on my perfectly pedicured feet, then added the earrings my fiancé gave me for my birthday nine days earlier. The antique lace veil my soon-to-be mother-in-law loaned me completed my outfit.
Stepping into my everyday shoes, I ignore the very chipped nail polish on my toes. I add the necklace my husband gave me for my birthday nine days earlier. As an afterthought, I clip a fake flower into my hair. I silently place bets on how long it will stay there, and which son will be responsible for its demise.

We posed gracefully for elegant, effortlessly natural photos that I love to look at and will cherish for a long time.
At a later time I discover that one of my sons has taken a series of unflattering photos of me sprawled on the couch asleep. I briefly worry that I am stifling a nascent creative spirit before I ruthlessly delete the lot.

Everyone told me how beautiful I was.
Alpha gravely informs me I look very pretty.

I walked down the aisle and saw my fiancé smiling.
I walk down the stairs and see my husband smile.


I was his bride.
I still am.