This week marked the end of the long summer holidays here in the North of Scotland, and called a halt to lazy weekday mornings, clock-watch free afternoons, and kids playing out late on balmy summer evenings (ok, the balmy bit might be pushing it – we do live in Caithness after all). Before we knew it the start of the new school year had caught up with us, and I was back to nervously awaiting last minute uniform deliveries and losing half a morning liking all 515 ‘first day back at school’ updates on my Facebook news feed (please say it’s not just me?)
But oh, I find those summer holidays hard to say goodbye to, as I watch my now not-so-little ones trundle off into the playground for their first few six-hour stints at school. I’m one of those Mums who actually loves the school holidays, the freedom they offer, and the chance to spend some quality time together without the daily routines of homework, after school clubs and designated rules. Although I do have some work (and the odd blog) to do throughout the holidays, I try to keep it to a minimum, and to date – touchwood – that arrangement has worked out quite well. At eight and ten my kids are also getting a bit more independent, meaning I can feasibly fit in the odd bit of writing while they are busy with friends, out in the garden – or playing on Minecraft (according to my eldest it’s educational, and when I have an article to write, I admit it, I’m inclined not to disagree).
But mostly we just enjoy each other’s company, we have adventures, we do our summer reading challenge: the truth is I actually really like hanging out with my kids. They make me laugh, they get on well, and in most respects they’re very easy to be Mum to (and if you think I’m getting smug here, don’t worry, you obviously haven’t met my dog).
But all good things come to an end, and earlier this week I dropped off my two not-so-little boys at school, one rather nonchalant about the whole thing and one giddy with excitement about the prospect of finally gaining entry to the ‘big’ section of the playground. And when I picked them up, it had, according to my eldest, gone ‘better than expected’, and for the youngest had been a veritable delight with a new teacher who, in his own words, was quite simply ‘nice in every way’.
And so, with this burst of happiness they were back to normal, and by yesterday it felt like we had never been away from the familiarity of the daily school gate rotation. But for everything we enjoyed in those long weeks of July-To-The-Middle-Of-August, school holidays, we salute you, we love you and we say thankyou, and goodnight.