Wednesday, 23 July 2014

School's out for summer

It's the end of term and all my sons are in party mood and ready to celebrate six weeks of freedom. No surprise as the last few days at school seem to have involved nothing but watching DVDs and eating cake in the classroom.

Strangely, despite the fact that I will be in sole command of my little troupe of terrors for the next few weeks, I am feeling equally demob happy. While I am sure that I will be a frazzled wreck come the end of summer I am gasping for a few weeks off school.

School can be very wearing, what with the early starts, endless pickups, interminable concerts, picnics, performances, cake sales, fetes and so on that require parental helpers (or at least those mums such as myself who appear to have 'MUG' tattooed on our foreheads). That's not to mention the politics and infighting that is the inevitable result of interacting with other people over something as fraught as the education and welfare of our precious children.

The moaning never ceases and even though I hold my hands up to being one of the worst culprits, I long for a break from it all. I don't want to worry about who will man the popcorn maker, who failed to put the things away properly in the PTA cupboard, who hasn't given their fiver for the teacher's collection, who has resigned from a key position on this or that committee leaving us in our perennial position of 'in the lurch'.

As I walk out of school today I want to shut the door on all of that and have five weeks with my boys. I want them to get up when they like and spend all day playing computer games if that's what they want. I want to explore sunlit fields searching for dragons in the undergrowth, I want to see just how wet and muddy they can get while playing in the local stream. I want them sticky with ice cream and lazy with days spent in the garden in the sunshine. I want to watch movies and not worry if they get to bed too late.

I don't want to nag about homework, or search for PE kits and book bags, I don't want to sign any permissions slips, or remember packed lunches, or make sure music practise is done. I don't want to do load after load of washing to ensure there is clean uniform available every day. I don't want to wake up at 7am to drag myself out of bed to extract my grumpy children from beneath their duvets. I don't want to start the day by screaming at them to remember to brush their teeth and to hurry their way through their breakfast or we will be late.

In short I am sick of the drudgery, the never-ending school runs and the unceasing flow of admin that has to be dealt with to manage the school lives of four children. The forms, the invitations, the applications for clubs, the music lessons, the tutors, the school applications…the list goes on and on.

This is why I think it is so important that we keep our long summer holiday. It's not for the children's sake, it's for all the parents. Of course the children love a break, but it's us mums and dads who need a few weeks away from the school gates. So I say hurrah for the summer holiday (but check back with me in a couple of weeks and see if the boys have managed to dampen my enthusiasm by then).

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