Don’t you just love this time of year? The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and singing away, the washing is out on the line swaying in the warm, gentle breeze, and in the distance neighbours can be heard tending to and enjoying their gardens.
You may even have the opportunity to sit out and feel the sun on your face whilst sipping a delicious cold drink, and daydream about the upcoming school holidays. You, like me, will probably envisage all kinds of outings and adventures, picnics and hikes, play parks and ice creams, holidays and day trips, beaches and sunshine, smiling faces and long, laughter filled days. . .aaah, bliss.
As the school term draws to a close, I am filled with optimism for our summer holidays, excited by the endless possibilities, and think that the bare seven weeks just won’t be long enough to jam-pack full of ‘quality time’ family memories to treasure for ever. Isn’t that what we are meant to do?
You see, the thing is, this few weeks when you can finally see the light at the end of the school term tunnel, you will invariably have to juggle even more crap than normal on your way towards it. The end of the school year, when you, like the jotters, are a tad frayed round the edges, will have a whole circus of year-end specific hoops to jump through; parties, disco’s, assemblies, sports days, presentations, graduations yadda yadda yadda.
You can see the light though, and you know that by the time your get the last day of term, its not just the kids, but every parent, that is READY for the holidays. So, ready.
The long stretch home
What sustains you through the dark school term tunnel on that last, most demanding stretch, is the much anticipated summer break; the glimmering prize of a glorious sunshiny summer. Sometimes, that’s even how it works out, Sometimes folks can get through the most part of the summer and do nothing but have idyllic days, make memories, and generally enjoy each others company. However, I think its more common that everybody goes at the summer holidays hoping to have Instagram worthy moments from sun up to sun down, when in reality, even with all the best of intentions, a million list of fun things to do, and near endless patience – nobody can get through seven weeks without a cross word, sulk, huff, stomp, tantrum, meltdown, eye roll, or hissy fit or grump. Nobody.
Kids and adults alike will all have their own moments of aargh from time to time, no matter what is going on. But then over the course of the summer you add in the heat (which we are not used to), the ever-present need for sun screen (which my monkeys hate), and as a result often get a grumpy child and a grumpy adult before you’ve set foot out of the door. Which is another thing, getting out the door; arranging for where to be going and when, then packing for everybody for every eventuality. Not the mention those oh so lovely picnics and packed lunches – if only they made themselves eh.
All I’m saying is, for us, despite the fact I love having the kids home and getting to hang out with them, long before the holidays are over The shine has kinda come off it a bit. There will have been those adorable loving moments like you see on social media, but there will also have been fighting, rowing, tantrums and whining. This is a certainty. It happens.
Not many have the picture perfect summer they dream of, but that’s OK too; real life is well, real, and life happens, but there is a lot of pressure on summer to perform as a season round here. Its not ALL swings and roundabouts though.
Which is one of the reasons I’m quite happy in the tunnel for now, with a good view of the beautiful light at the end. Yes, I love this time of year, there’s so much to look forward to and be excited about, and I can enjoy the luxury of daydreaming about the promises of summer, in my peaceful garden,(soon to be infested with small people), in the quiet, (soon to be replaced by screaming, shouting, singing, laughing, crying etc), next to the clean, tidy house, (soon to become unrecognizable due to increased presence of small, noisy people who don’t like for anything to be inside of anything else, ever), while the kids are in school (set to be freed at the end of the tunnel).
Ah yes, the mixed bag that is summertime is out there. i can see it in the distance, and it is full of promise, but I like it here even better, in the joys of pre- summer!