My Facebook timeline is full of people counting down the days until the holidays start. Summer’s nearly here!
Parents filled with dread at the thought entertaining their little darlings for 6 weeks – the school staff holding their breath until they can finally relax!
In our house? well it’s rather an odd summer for Badger and I. We are stumbling towards the last day of term, bleary eyed, longing for next week, when we can turn the alarm clocks off and put our feet up!
But it’s also tinged with a little sadness this year, this is our first summer with a properly empty nest. Splosh has truly flown away, graduated and working north of the border, as he has for a few years now. But this is our first summer without our Bernard. You see whilst all you university parents are collecting piles of laundry and boxes of books ready for a 10 week summer holiday, we are still waiting for our baby to come home. Nursing students don’t get the same as media studies and history students. After a year of 20 hours a week theory blocks and 37 hour working weeks doing hospital shifts, they get only a short summer break and then start again at the beginning of September. She will be back doing night shifts before the rest of the university has even planned freshers week (and don’t get me started on the funding issues – that’s a whole other story!)
Last summer we had 14 glorious weeks with our girlie here, this summer just 2 or 3.
It’s a huge change for us and I’m not sure we know how to deal with it. We’re certainly used to our own company now, we’ve a routine that works and we enjoy the peace and quiet. But as the back gardens around us fill with the sounds of paddling pool water fights, and the local library advertises it’s summer reading schemes, we’ll be just a little bit glum!
There is a light on the horizon though – we have actually managed to find a week when no one is working, studying or travelling to the Arctic circle! So we do get a family holiday – all of us together! Jiminy Spudrocket and the Wonder Nuggets ride again!
So to those of you with little ones at home – don’t wish it away, don’t long for the new term too hard and don’t fill the holidays with kids clubs and activities – savour the days you have. Laze in bed reading stories, enjoy spontaneous picnics, and lay on the grass in the garden and watch the clouds race by. Walk in the rain and splash in a puddle, stay up late watching movies with popcorn, and enjoy those moment so f freedom – when life runs to your time-scale and no one else’s!
All too soon they will grow up and fly away to have lives of their own and take on the world.
What you do with them now will influence that future more than you can imagine, so set them up right for what is to come and put them on the road to adventure.
Plant their roots deep so they know where home is and give them wings so they fly as far as they want to.
Happy summer holidays everyone!