... Or having the kids home for half-term.
I used to love the school holidays. I used to say that I just got my kids back to being lovely when off they went back to school, mixing with the riff-raff.
I know that not all mothers feel that way. I know that I was one of the lucky ones. I made sacrifices to be at home with my children and to raise them myself, of course I did, but I was also lucky enough to have the resources in place to be able to work from home and live on less. Who needs two cars, or foreign holidays, or, come to think of it, any holidays? Who needs smart clothes or manicures or regular hair cuts? I certainly didn’t, because, apart from anything else, I didn’t have a boss to impress.
Anyway, my point was that I used to enjoy the school holidays. I used to love having my children around me.
I was devastated when our nest emptied. I was bereft when our younger daughter left home in September. I was thrilled that she had found something that she wanted to do, and I was proud to put her out into the World to do it, but I could not have missed her more, and the house felt horribly empty. I’m not ashamed to say that the husband and I wept buckets the first week she wasn’t here. We cried over every reminder of her absence.
The dort is at a dance academy, which keeps a school timetable. There are no short, university terms with long breaks in between. The terms are long, long enough to require a break in the middle of them. So, the dort arrives home today for half term, and I couldn’t be happier. What’s more, in a couple of days, one of her pals is joining her, so, for the first time in what feels like ages, we’ll have two kids in the house, leaving noise and mess and mayhem wherever they go.
Anyone would think I was talking about a couple of kids, and, as far as I’m concerned, I am. On the other hand, we met the dort in London for lunch a couple of weeks ago to celebrate her twentieth birthday. She’s not a kid at all; she’s a young woman, a beautiful, talented, funny, and, I hope, happy young woman. I can’t wait to see her. She’ll only be here for a couple of days before she toddles off to spend some time with her boyfriend, but it’ll be a couple of days very well spent, as far as I’m concerned.
If you’re a parent of kids who are still at home bloody well enjoy them, because, trust me, you’re going to miss them when they’re gone; and, if you’re a kid who left home recently, have fun, but don’t forget to touch base once in a while; you might not give Mum and Dad a lot of thought, but they love you and they miss you, and a call or a text might very well make their day.