Nothing prepares you for the emotion of becoming a parent. I’ve found myself swept along as a passenger on a complicated journey. Since having my son my emotions are a confusing map of blues and reds, orange and grey. I’ve charted that map like a lost tourist on the London underground. The stops have been numerous. When he was born I felt initially not a rush of love but an overriding need to protect. It was not what I was expecting to feel. At his birth I stepped on to a long steep escalator that carried me towards bewildering tunnels of unexpected and uncharted emotions.
I left hospital a few days after his birth and came home and I cried and cried and cried, not in sadness, possibly in exhaustion, some of it happiness, much of it relief. I just cried. I’ve continued to cry at random news stories, Christmas adverts, medal ceremonies. I cry with no particular direction, it’s a Circle line it just goes on an on, around and around. Yesterday, I randomly cried at line from the Disney version of Alice and Wonderland. One of those stops that makes no sense. What’s the point of Gloucester Road and why did I cry at Alice?
When he was small. Despite night after night of broken sleep and exhaustion. When I wanted nothing more than my child to sleep till 6 am and yet I have distinct memories of willing the morning to come because I wanted to be with my baby. The happiness of his presence, his smile. My own personal Jubilee line, a celebration of all the small things. As a parent I laugh more. We laugh together and I laugh at his antics. Like the Northern line, it’s not all plain sailing, the directions are confusion, the delays are often. Sometimes its nothing but frustration that is the other side of parenting. Some days it is just better to get off at Piccadilly circus avoid the Northern line all together and take the bus.
Of course, love. The overriding emotion is love, a big red Central line of unconditional love. An emotional journey and a great way to travel.
Grab your Oyster card and tell me your favourite stop.