I must admit, for the past few years I had fallen out of love with bonfire night. I couldn’t be bothered with standing out in the cold to see a fire and some sparks in the sky. I didn’t want to pay to stand in a muddy field with a huge crowd of strangers to barely get a glimpse of the action.
Last year, I especially couldn’t be bothered. We had an almost three month old baby, who had just started going to sleep at a half reasonable time in the evening allowing us to actually eat a hot meal together, and there were loud bangs and bright lights flashing right outside the window. I was ready to march on parliament to get them banned. In my defence, it had been a long, tiring few months and I was only just recovered from a traumatic birth.
But this year, somehow, was different. The boy was almost 15 months old and I wanted to try to recreate some of those perfect family moments I had in my head when we were expecting him. I didn’t really expect it all to go to plan – I had visions of a screaming, overtired toddler and us rushing home before people thought we were torturing him – but I was going to try!
We walked down to Peel Marina, had a drink, then wandered round to the promenade. We walked past a huge bonfire on the beach, and about five minutes before the fireworks were due to start we stopped halfway along the prom and watched children running and playing on the beach with glow sticks and flashing toys.
The fireworks began, and the boy was mesmerised. He watched the entire display and kept grabbing mine and Daddy’s hands to check we were watching the pretty lights in the sky too.
As I stood there watching the beautiful display with a tiny little hand in mine and my husband by my side, it was one of those fleeting, perfect moments you search for as a parent. I wanted to cling to those wonderful minutes and make them last forever.
Our first proper, traditional, perfect family moment. No arguing, no tantrums. That’s why I’ll remember, remember the 5th November.