In the UK we spend a lot of our time wishing for summer, for warm, light days that seem to stretch out forever. As kids we’re waiting for the long holidays to begin, remembering these days as blissful, no expectations, no racing to get to school, no homework and so on and so forth.
For some parents the summer holidays are an amazing opportunity to spend some quality time with their children, the lack of school making way for days out in far flung places, getting messy with paint or mud and generally filling the days with laughter and fun. Now if this is your experience of the summer holidays, I am in awe of you. I have probably skimmed over arguments about who sits in the front this time or those times when everybody is so tired no-one can remember where the key to the cottage/caravan/car is at the end of the day. No-one has Insta perfect summer holidays all of the time, right?
All the same, I am not that parent. I am the parent who puts up a summer holiday calendar so that we can see what is planned, in previous summers, I have been the parent who plans which friends and family my boys can go with so that I can work or simply breathe. I am the parent who gets to this point in the long summer holidays and thinks, When THE HELL are they going back to school? How can there be another week, or 2, in the case of my youngest, to go?
I had thought that after the weirdest summer on record that was the summer of 2020, this year summer would be a breeze. After all, I survived 5 months at home with my boys last year, what’s 6 short weeks in comparison?!
I had thought that not working through the majority of the summer (OK, trying to work, because even though mine are not 5 and 7 anymore working with them lazing on the sofa or being late to whatever-they-are-supposed-to-be-going-to-today just doesn’t happen*) would also mean I could do more beach days, more days out.
Maybe not then.
When are they going back again?
It turns out, whatever is happening out there either on a global scale, or on a more local footing, I am still that parent who struggles with so much time out of routine! I love my children to pieces, but by this point in the summer I am definitely ready for change again. My social media reminds me that this is not the first time I have thought these thoughts, or felt these feelings, and it won’t be the last, I’m sure.
Here’s to the return to a normal routine, and for those of you who love this time with your children, enjoy the last week or so!
* as if to underline this point, both my boys have been out today and come back with black clouds hanging over them, the kind of black clouds that produce thunder and lightning… Deep joy…