These school holidays at home have been magical. Wait, what?
Hear me out.
Term 1 was TOUGH. And long. Tough and long. Looking back it was a blur of bell ringing, sandwich cutting, soaking, washing, and routine learning. And magic words, so many magic words. So when the final bell rang to announce the official end of term 1 and the completion of the first term of kindergarten, I was hooning up the highway to a girl’s weekend away with a couple of other mums. Obviously. Burnt out and wrung out, we needed a quiet weekend away to get ready for the SCHOOL HOLIDAYS.
I capitalised the words SCHOOL HOLIDAYS as after my first experience with them I learnt that I do not care for them too much as paid work still needs to happen and having the kids at home really hinders that. So unless you are off somewhere nice like Hawaii or Mollymook, then you have to face two weeks of a power struggle between supervising kids at home and getting your paid work done and squawking about like a demented cockatoo. I was nervous. The fact that I got a very bad cold whilst over-exerting myself on my girl’s weekend with Aperol spritzers, fuelled my anxiety around my coping skills. I also did not care for the rain predicted weather report or our no wine in the week policy. Is there no God?
When I got back from the weekend away what I saw was one very tired 5 year old, with bit of a wild look in his eye, randomly spewing magic words. He really needed a break. I needed to have a word to myself, short of that, a slap around the face. And so, like a phoenix rising out of the flames, I set to the task of clearing what work I could, changing my working hours until after 7.30pm and knuckling down to give my boy a much needed break and some holiday fun time with his old ma. And the magical thing about it, that I didn’t see coming, was that spending so much time together again, I could see first-hand the tremendous growth he has experienced in the last 3 months as well as having my little boy back for a short while before he starts school again. It has brought a smile to my face and I have been thinking constantly how lucky I am. Yes, I do feel a little gushy saying that, I am not that type of chick but hanging out, messing around and talking; I have really missed him. I even baked his favourite muffins the other day. Look at me. Baking? It must be serious.
For the first few days of school I would wave goodbye like the village mute, huge lump in my throat with a strange grimace on, trying to reassure my little guy that it’s all good. And of course it was. I would wait for him at 3.20pm, making friends with other parents with nervous chatter and wait for him to come out. He would hurtle himself at me in his gigantic school uniform and proudly thrust some work into my hand. I have kept it all.
This holidays we have found each other again in the quiet moments when it’s just the two of us. And now we are in a love fest. That sounds weird. What I mean is as he is at school now we don’t have time just the two of us. With my younger son we still have two glorious, mainly glorious days, in the week to walk the earth and ponder the big questions. Like where are the slugs going? Who did that poo? And when the little one is at daycare in the school holidays there is no squabbling, no fighting, no screeching through the house as lost cats or wrestling like a couple of piglets on happy gas. My school boy and I have gone on bushwalks and poked dead things together. We have been to the movies and had a cuddle when the scary guy in Kung Fu Panda appears, and we have talked. Actually he has talked a lot. At me. Around the clock. We have discussed the big issues in life. He has told me that anyone in the world can be a leader. And that we are all leaders and all the same. And that if someone says they are better than someone else they are just not very nice and looking for an argument. He told me that you can marry anyone you want. Even a boy but he will probably marry Daisy as I will be too old. And today he presented me with a necklace he made from old buttons, an ‘eye-catching’ keepsake from our lovely holiday together. If you see me about be sure to admire it.
Granted, it hasn’t been all roses. I think the neighbours think a murderous fish wife lives next door some days and I am thankful they are not home from work between 4.40-6.30pm, which as we all know, is FERAL TIME. The big bits though, between the shouting and craziness of life with a young family, I have connected again with this kind, thoughtful, smart and funny little boy that I feel extra lucky to call my son. Wow, I can’t stop gushing.
Seriously though, thank God daycare doesn’t shut down during the school holidays as I might not being feeling so magical.