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The GCSEs and prom are over and some of the younger members of the family are already on holiday.
It’s July, finally, and we’re nearly at the holidays. For some members of the family the holidays have started early. The GCSEs are over and they, and the prom, are now a distant memory. Where once there was quiet during the daytime hours, there is now BTS on a loop.
Others in the family are actually on holiday – daughter one is in Portugal with her friends and must be having a very good time because we’ve hardly heard from her since she left. Only only son and daughter three have drawn the short straw and are still at school, though more in name only. Both seem to have their minds firmly set on holiday mode.
Daughter three is making extravagant claims about her classmates taking days off because ‘virtually no-one is learning anything’. Only son is gearing up for the last week of films and general chilling out. Only the adults plough on, regardless, though my partner is still on leave.
So basically it’s just me, glued to the computer and contemplating six weeks of holiday working hours. Someone asked the other day how flexible working parents do the summer holidays. It’s all about the flex. Basically you stretch the day to the point where you only sleep for around two hours and you end the holidays completely exhausted, just in time for the September to December overwork madness.
I’m more organised than most years this time round, though. I’ve signed only son up to the only summer session he was interested in – a day learning how to make short films on the phone. He turned his nose up at printmaking, stone painting workshops and all manner of sports. “I am Mr Tech, mum. I only want to do tech stuff,” he said. Summer course makers take note. If you can’t get them off the screens, get them to do something creative with them. I’ve already asked only son if he can teach me film-making so I can use it for work and he has agreed.
Only son has been very concerned about helping make my life easier of late. The other day he gave me a rather sticky foot massage with body soap. This followed daughter two offering to give me a back massage, pinning me to the sofa and forcing me to watch BTS videos until I could name every single member, their best qualities and favourite pastimes. She spent the weekend at her friend’s house, eating noodles and pretending to be in South Korea…I’ve started hearing BTS songs in my sleep.
‘It’s all escapism, you know,” daughter one said when BTS-mania first hit the house. I know it is. I was looking at some advice for parents on teenagers’ mental health the other day. There were a lot of bulletpoints, but the bottom one said “Be hopeful”. I can do all the other ones, but I’m finding that one particularly hard in the current times. Still, as they say, hope is the last thing to go.