Bonfire Night last year was one of my most poignant times as a single mum. We had nowhere to go, with one child so young (18 months then) and, in truth, me not really getting around to being organized, such a struggle it was to get through the day (and those awful nights) alone.
I remember we watched - what I considered to be - a paltry amount of fireworks going off in other people's gardens through the upstairs back window. Yet the children were thrilled. They didn't know what they were missing and in the absence of this knowledge were overjoyed with their lot. A bit like I am with them, never having enjoyed the joy of a true unit, so to speak, with their dad.
I hadn't even considered an official display - but they do tend to be late and can be expensive. This year we are going to one, however. Things are very different. I am making an effort (but didn't over Halloween, help me God). We are going to friends for it and can go inside if needs be.
Watching it all from a distance can be the most lonely thing imagineable. There are no gunpowder smells, no heat from a rarely seen - nowadays - fantastic fire, no sparklers to draw in the night sky, no sausages or baked potatoes to eat, no sounds.
This year, at least, there are fireworks in my love life and I will never be looking back. Yet there are many single parents out there - to whom my heart will be going out - and who deserve better, who cannot be protecting their kids whilst setting off rockets, who probably can't afford such a luxury anyhow and who would love to be invited somewhere so their children can hear and smell and feel and taste - as well as see - Bonfire Night for themselves!