About going back to school...
I have had a few people phrase it 'a bitter sweet' experience. I am rather in agreement with that statement. On the one hand, I have got a sh*t whack tonne of paperwork/returning emails/admin/accounts/calls (without the loud 'MUM!' whisper because they think that as long as they are whispering it doesn't count that they're talking when you're 'FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I'M ON THE PHONE!'/been to the loo ON MY OWN/and the rest done. As the day is now back to commencing sharply (whether you're ready or not) at 6am affording much time to get 'stuff' done, and the routine puts some structure on an otherwise floaty existence getting not much done and nowhere very fast during the holidays with seemingly a hundred kids that lack the ability to find anything, clean anything or flush a toilet...
But now they're over. Those days are neatly folded in a drawer and will not return till next Summer. This makes me sad.
Spending time with the kids in the holidays is so enriching. I get to know them better, their little ways, mannerisms, foibles, quirks and the apparent prevalent hunger which seems to be a recurrent never ending theme (anyone else?!). They do a great deal of growing and developing. They are forced to spend 24/7 with each other, and this can bring out the best and the worst! I have had many conversations about being 'tolerant' and speaking kindly, oh, and the importance of not texting from their room 'Can you bring me up a snack please' - because, I am sorry but, WTAF?
This Summer was a different experience to the one before, and by the end of it, you know you have a whole other year before you get to hang out with your little beings again. I adore the ages mine are at now (I have loved and embraced each age and stage for their varying challenges and achievements), at 15, 14, 13 and 11; their independence is welcome! The fact I don't have to wipe anyone's bum any more (oh the joys!) and the fact that I can have real, meaningful and intelligent conversations and discussions with them. Time together affords that. We eat together every night during term time, but it's not the same as saturated quality time. We stayed up late playing cards, watching movies, eating, laughing and enjoying each other's company. On a family scale of the Waltons to The Simpsons, we are very much tipping The Simpson side, but we absolutely know more laughter than fights, more silliness than sadness and they have amazed me with their insights into things.
Discussing their dad one night, Monty (eldest child and only boy one) said he wouldn't change what happened, because if his life had been any different, he wouldn't have been able to help as many people as he has, and he wouldn't be the person he is. Recognising that out of adversity, he had thrived. I think this makes him pretty awesome - they have all recognised that out of tragedy they have grown and become stronger.
I am devastated Summer is over, I miss them more than they will ever know. We are a unit - the kids and I, a force to be reckoned with!
I hope your Summer was an exploration of adventure and fun and tears and tantrums and laughter and sunsets and rain and fun and bliss and fatigue too! Thank you to all who were a part of it, Summer 2019 rocked!