This may look like any other family picture, snapped on my phone by a friend, but to me, this photo makes me feel invincible.
We went out of our safety zone, and the world didn't end. We survived, unscathed and exultant.
I constantly question whether things are possible with the babies. Can I make it to the shops? Can I eat lunch out at a restaurant? Could I go to that exhibition I've been dying to see? More often than not I am overwhelmed by the prospect of pushing my boundaries and I don't try these things. London can be a daunting place with a double buggy, and I often feel beaten by the hurdles it throws at me.
We had a friend running the Virgin London Marathon this year, and I'd been wondering all week about whether to go up and support her. I considered going alone, but didn't want to miss out on the precious family time we have at the weekend. Could we all go and watch the marathon together? Immediately I started thinking of reasons why not. It would be too busy. The journey's too difficult. The babies wouldn't nap. But Sunday morning dawned, and we decided impulsively to go for it. 'If it's a nightmare we can turn around and go straight home,' we reasoned.
And so we found ourselves on the DLR to the Cutty Sark, double buggy in tow, where we met up with friends, missing our runner by the tiniest of margins (about 30 secs). We hopped back onto the DLR to Limehouse, where we found a fantastic vantage point and we all (including Miss E and Mr A) cheered on the amazing runners streaming past us, including our friend who was going well. A pit stop for coffee and to use the facilities at a friend's flat nearby reenergised us, and we rejoined the group and made our way to Canary Wharf, cheering our runner on once again. We decided against carrying on with the others to Embankment, and instead headed home feeling elated and happy. The babies had grabbed cat naps here and there and had been on fantastic form all day. Sure they were grumpy at bedtime but it was more than worth it.
My confidence is sky high. The babies have proved themselves to be far more flexible than I give them credit for, and I'm going to capitalise on this new feeling and keep pushing myself to try new things.
And another result of all this positivity? I think I might enter next year's marathon...
Massive congratulations to my mate Nadia, and all the other incredible runners who took part in this year's marathon. Your dedication and stamina were inspiring. And a huge thank you to Geri, Rob and Lee for being so patient with us and for helping lug the buggy up and down steps and on and off trains. You're all stars! x
For Week 9 of The Gallery at Sticky Fingers. Theme: 'Portraits'