When the school holidays arrive, I am ready. I’ve had enough of early rising, shouting and stressing, running up and down stairs looking for PE shorts that have gone astray and a clean school tie. No more making cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches for my daughter’s packed lunch at 730 in the morning, and peeling carrots that she will never eat.
Yes the holidays. Hurray! Lots of lazy mornings, al fresco dining, harmonious children, card games, cafes, craft, long walks, museum visits, a bout of baking.
In London before we go away, the reality is somewhat more mundane – the oven is broken, the cards are lost, it’s pouring with rain and my son only half enjoyed the visit to the Pompeii exhibition at the British Museum. My daughter is doing holiday sports, which means many more cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches, more peeling of carrots and dashing around looking for things. This morning for example we desperately dried her washed-but-not-dried sports shorts with a hair dryer as time was ticking away. She demands to know when the real holidays will begin (ie trip to the South of France).
I am aware that this era will not last and in a few years, they will be off doing their own thing in the holidays. Soon they won’t want to spend time with us preferring the company of their peers. It would be great to focus on this fact now, when I’m nagging my son to get off the x-box/computer/screen and shouting at my daughter to hurry up. This too shall pass and I will be left looking at my thumb nails nostalgically remembering the magical few days we recently spent in North Wales, where the children and their friend made a short film called, “Jessica Almost Blond” which included lots of running up hills and shooting each other, set against the back drop of the most stunning landscape. They edited it, added music and further dialogue. I loved hiking along coastal paths holding their still-small hands. Even the downpour of torrential rain on the last night was exciting. Who needs an oven?