Surviving the School Holidays

By Alison November 6, 2017 No Comments 4 Min Read

Well heavens the first week of the Summer holidays went past in a swoosh of boys needing lifts hither, thither and back to the Junior Gym, a fluster over a bicycle I was buying as a birthday present for Ste, more blood tests, many, many many sandwiches made and served (because teenagers NEVER stop eating and are also incapable, apparently, of sticking a slice of ham between two rounds of bread!), a cobbled path unearthed by the gardener, a terrible meal in a Mexican restaurant,  damn bluebottle flies EVERYWHERE and more mess in the house than a houseproud woman should ever have to cope with.
Oh how the Summer turns my world upside down.  I am you see a woman who likes routine (did you just keel over in surprise then??), so come the long stretch that is the Summer holidays I am prone to getting a little antsy. Occasionally even (whisper it) grumpy. This is, of course, deeply unreasonable. But then I am a deeply unreasonable. And so is the weather. Damn persistent rain.
This is what I know: as sure as eggs are eggs, Summer will come a-calling and if we women of routine can learn to anticipate it and set aside our grand plans till school starts all over again, then we can not just survive it, but actually enjoy a break from our own lovely, daily grind and enjoy the sandwich making and the paddling pool filling, and the running of a taxi-service, and the refusal of slightly smelly teenage boys to climb out of their pits until impossible hours, then grunt around the house with the beginnings of a hunchback so frequently do they stare at screens and walk in to tables.
Gosh did I sound grumpy again? Shame on me.
The whole matter for me is of course exasperated on two levels. Firstly, I am a writer and I need my own company in order to function and secondly, I own Finley. While Stevie is a quiet eleven year old delight,  at nearly fourteen, Finley is as relentlessly, scrumptiously chatty as ever and from the moment he sits on my bed in the morning, talking the bare-naked legs off me, to the hour I practically have to knock him out with a tennis racket to get him up to bed in the evening, he is talking and of course when he is here all day long, there is no escaping the swings and roundabouts of WWE,  the new Lady Doctor Who, and the frankly filthy Peter of Family Guy fame.
OF course his being abundant with joie de vivre is my own fault. I should have been a crueler Mother. Barked when he interrupted the formation of a beautiful sentence or yawned every time the tardis was mentioned. Sent him in to the street with a gingham wrapped sandwich on a stick over his shoulder and told him not to return until dusk. But instead I gave him free reign to grow in to a child abundant with eloquent opinion and confidant enough to share them. A beautiful, well-behaved, polite, interesting kid who loves his Mum and likes nothing more than hanging out with her and watching her reaction to the silly things Sheldon says on The Big Bang Theory.
Oh what a fool I was!
But there is no time for regret. While the respective Fathers of both Stevie and Finn have to carry on working at the bliss of careers outside the home , I am here and just ripe for full-time tweenie sitting, tuna-pasta making and force-fed cartoons. And so, in this, the tenth school summer holiday of my own career in Motherhood I am teaching myself to be in the moment. To set aside the worry that BrocanteHome will fall down if I am not sat at my desk twenty-four seven and instead to understand that it is okay to be dragging the boys around a forest for the sake of their eyes, surely half way to burned by their obsession with little screen, instead. That I will still be able to feed us all if I watch Boss Baby instead of sending out a newsletter and that all my grand schemes can wait until September.
So at the end of this long rant, this is what I want you know. As I have told so many of you during our Pep-Talks, all your grand schemes can wait too. That if this is the last Summer before your babba starts school then it is ok to enjoy every minute just quietly adoring their very littleness. That having a house full for six long weeks is not conducive to good housekeeping and that’s ok too because I won’t be attending your house for an impromptu inspection until at least the middle of September don’t you know?
So cut yourself some slack me darling.
In the meantime. Stevie has gone back to his Mum and Mark has spirited Finley away for the weekend, and though Ste and I are ready for a lovely evening resplendent with an Indian Takeaway and a film, I am bereft without them.
Never let it be said that I am anything other than contrary.

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