It’s a hard to thing to admit when Sonny’s so young, but sometimes it’s good to get a break from the relentlessness of being a parent. So this weekend, when his Scouse grandparents came to visit, we both left him for the first time and hit the road on our bikes…
One of the things Gemma and I did regularly together before Sonny’s arrival was cycle together as often as possible. We live in south Cambridgeshire, which is extremely flat and filled with lots of cycle paths that wind their way along rivers and through pretty green countryside, and although we’ve both been out for rides by ourselves since the baby came along, we haven’t been able to do anything like this together.
It took a fair bit of preparation. Neither of us have family living nearby but Gemma’s parents were staying with us for the weekend, so we loaded them up with sterilised bottles, an unnecessarily huge supply of expressed milk, fresh nappies, baby wipes, changes of clothes, toys, bouncing chairs, prams, every nursery rhyme every written and about 100 more things I can’t remember; then we pumped up the tyres on our road bikes and off we went. And it was lovely!
We didn’t go too far or stay out too long, but we did manage to cycle a route we know well, cutting through a large nature reserve and following an old railway line towards Cambridge. It wasn’t so much about needing the exercise (although we definitely both do), it was more about spending some proper quality time together without having to worry if Sonny was hungry, needed changing, was too hot or cold, or one of the million other things that seem to fill our thoughts these days.
We cycled for around an hour, sat down and had a drink, then turned around and headed back home. We both had our phones with us, just in case, and although we talked about Sonny a lot, for the first time in almost three months he wasn’t the only thing on our minds. We listened to skylarks singing above the summer meadows, watched rabbits lolloping along the sides of the path and made plans for as many future mini adventures like this as possible.
Of course we constantly thought about Sonny, and hoped he wasn’t giving Denis and Paula too much of a hard time, but when we got back home 18 miles and almost 2 hours later, there he was still bouncing happily in his chair. It’s a tough thing to trust someone else with your baby for the first time, but the importance of finding time for each other certainly outweighs any doubts. We’ve been the best of friends for almost 15 years now – we’ve travelled the world together, been through every kind of life event you could imagine together, and most importantly have always just enjoyed being together – and there’s no way a chubby little baby is going to come along and change that, no matter how awesome he is!
Our next non-baby mini adventure will be a Stevie Wonder gig in London in a couple of weeks, when Sonny will be entrusted to his grandparents for an entire afternoon, evening and night. That could be a different story altogether!!!