Anyone who knows me knows that I love school holidays … I love having my boys to myself, having no time restrictions and having the freedom to go anywhere and do anything. So, a happy mum is writing today as we’re slap bang in the middle of half-term. To be fair, I’m exaggerating slightly by calling it half-term as it’s barely more than a long weekend but still, it’s time with the Junior GGs and it’s appreciated.
Yesterday was a lovely day … the weather was good, very cold but no rain or wind which is novel at the moment. We wrapped up and went for a walk in the morning to a favourite haunt of the boys … originally I’d suggested going to the zoo but none of the boys were all that bothered so we went somewhere free instead … much better for the pocket! We got home with rosy cheeks, cold noses and (via a trip to the supermarket) cakes … what’s not to like?
I’m continually struck by how quickly time passes and how little time I really have with my children. Just yesterday as I took a photo of one of the Junior GGs I realised how much he’d started to change. He’s 12 now and growing quickly … the shape of his face is changing and he’s entering those gangly, awkward, stroppy, angst-ridden days of transition from child to adolescent to man. I don’t feel prepared, I’m not ready and I’m terrified that I’ll make mistakes that will break or damage him. It’s happened all of a sudden, it doesn’t seem long since he was starting school, or learning to walk, or even, born!
Maybe that’s why I enjoy school holidays so much, I’m aware of how quickly time passes and I don’t want to look back when the boys are grown and realise I didn’t make the most of their childhood. I get sad (and a bit annoyed) when people tell me I’m mad for loving school holidays … I generally smile but my honest reaction is “Why have children if you don’t want to spend time with them?” I love the company of my boys, not always of course, there are times when they’re all fighting or stroppy when I don’t particularly enjoy their company and, to my shame, there are times when I’m tired and crabby and just don’t appreciate them but, on the whole, I enjoy time with them and I can honestly say I’ve learned more from my children than I can ever hope to have taught them.
Don’t get me wrong. I totally understand that, for some, school holidays bring headaches in terms of childcare during work hours. I’m in a very fortunate situation, I’ve been able to choose to work only a few hours each week but I understand that, for others, that isn’t the case and school holidays can be really difficult.
Today’s Love Dare topic has been one close to my heart … “Love takes time”. Time is something I long to give my boys and, equally, something that is so limited. As part of the book there is an appendix detailing ways to maximise family time and some really strike a chord with me.
The first idea is to declare war on TV. We did just that towards the end of last year … we had an electronic free month where the game consoles, Ipads etc and TVs were put away from 1 September to 1 October. The Junior GGs missed their games but unanimously agreed that they didn’t miss the television at all. We had a great month, out walking together, playing games … it would have been unfair to have made it last longer but I think it’s something that will be done again.
Another suggestion is to date your children. This is something that I love. There is nothing like going out to the cinema or for tea with just one of the children … so precious. Last May I had the privilege of going to the Zoo with one of the boys … even now, over eight months later, he still talks about our day. It’s lovely having one-to-one time … you have the opportunity to give them absolutely all of your attention, something which is nigh on impossible when you’re all together.
Time … it’s so important … and so brief … make the most of your moments with your children while they’re still small, enjoy each stage of life with them and treasure the gift that they are … all too soon they’ll be flying the nest!