I started writing this post sat in the sunshiny garden, listening to the blackbirds battling with the magpie. I was confidently scribbling that the best thing about being a grown up is the freedom of choice. I know that today there are loads of things I should be doing but I'm a grown up. I can ignore my to do list safe in the knowledge I will live to regret it. All to take full advantage of a rare glimpse of the sun.
But as I was writing I realised that while choice is amazing and a privilege that I am prepared to fight for. It isn't the best bit about being a grown up.
The best bit is getting to be a parent. The magical bit is that this means that at least a small part of me never needs to be grown up. With smudge in tow I am looked at indulgently and with just a little envy as we splash in puddles. If I get observed having a puddle jump when smudge is elsewhere I can see the shaken heads, tutting and people decrying the inadequacies of care in the community.
Parenting is nothing like as simple as puddle jumping, teddy bear picnics and colouring in contests. There are spectacularly hard bits which of course arrive when you are one sleepless night away from clinical insanity.
Then your child does something they haven't done before and you understand how someones heart can burst with pride.
Or they get the giggles. I defy anyone to listen to a small child with a serious case of uncontrollable giggles without ending up with at least a smile on their face.
Or you hear a news report or watch a tv show without a happy ending. The child is the same age as yours or looks vaguely similar and you find yourself standing in their bedroom watching them sleep. Tears pouring down your face. Thanking a God you don't believe in that your child is safe and warm and fast asleep in their bed.
Being a child was easy. I am lucky enough to be able to look back and only remember sunny days. Being a grown up is tough, the sunny days are rarer and need to be nourished, nurtured and cherished. But the fact that I get to try and fill my child's memory with sunny days is awe-inspiring. Challenging, bloody hard work some days but spectacularly good fun to bring to fruition.