I love the summer holidays. There is something so nice about having all of those weeks stretched out ahead of you. With study leave for exams and then a randomly long summer holiday this year, I don’t think I’ve had a child free day in something like 15 weeks. Not that I’m complaining. I love having them around the house. Even the grumpiest of teenagers who only surface for fishfinger sandwiches.
This year felt like such a good summer though. The days were long and the weeks were neverending but in a lovely hazy summer way not in a oh-my-godfathers-will-this-never-end way. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t all been rosy. The noise has driven me insane on many days. Children don’t come with a volume control unfortunately plus that constant din of childrens’ tv when they are not even watching the bloody thing drives me mad. There were days when I couldn’t hear myself think. And the bickering of course. Oh my goodness the bickering! And I won’t even mention the mess. I gave up on even attempting to keep the house tidy by the end of the first week. We’ve basically been living in a fleapit.
The lazy starts to the day though are just the best. By lazy of course I mean sleeping in until after 8am which by normal standards isn’t all that lazy at all but trust me, to a parent that is the best you can hope for. The holidays mean that everything is that bit more relaxed. I love being able to say yes more. Wearing your best party dress to go to the park? Why not! Pancakes for lunch again? Oh go on then! It’s just so nice not to be bound by the constraints that school terms bring.
There is that bit a couple of weeks in though when things turn a bit feral. No one seems to keep track of the time and you can’t remember if that was breakfast of lunch. Let’s call it brunch! Bedtimes tend to go by the wayside because battling children into bed when the sun is still shining feels as daft to you as it does to them. And you get to that point where you can’t remember when anyone last had a bath and make a mental note to hose them down in the garden or something tomorrow. Mucky knees never killed anyone, right?
It has been a tough old year for my eldest two though and I really wanted them to have a proper break. They really needed it. I purposely made plans to not have too many plans so that they had time just to be. But that said, we did have lots of lovely days out and even managed to sneak in a holiday to the Lake District which was a lovely bonus. I really felt like we squeezed every last minute out of our summer this year by going away in that last week. Especially as so many other people were already back at school by then. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I felt terribly smug to be packing up our swimming cossies while everybody else was labelling too big uniform and going back to school.
My youngest two went back to school on Monday, then my eldest two on Wednesday. It felt kinder on the old heart strings to have a bit of a staggered start so I didn’t lose them all in one fell swoop. The little ones were as excited as ever to go back to school. I love how much they love school. My son is back to sixth form for his final year and my eldest daughter is just starting. She had a bit of a wobbly start but give it a week or two and I’m sure she will be fine. Our sixth form are in a confederation with two other high schools in the next town. The idea being that between them, they can offer the kids as much choice in subjects as possible. This means that she is going to strange schools and meeting even stranger people. More on that in a later post I suspect as it is quite a tale in itself but hey, never a dull moment when parenting teenagers!
So there we have it. Back to school and back to the old (and new) routines. I feel like it has crept up out of nowhere really and I haven’t had chance to make my own plans for September. For me this month is always about tidying up the mess from the summer and finally getting all of those niggly things that I’ve been ignoring for the last couple of months out of the way. It’s always a shock to the system how quickly the school day vanishes though. I always plan to be super efficient. I have to do lists and everything. But I seem to spend my days charging around like a headless chicken trying to do everything while appearing to actually get nothing done. No sooner have you dropped them off, then it is time to pick them up again. No wonder it is called the school run…..