Summer? What summer?

Summer seems a long way away and schools have only been back a week.

 

It’s been less than a week of the new term and summer seems a long, long way away. Even the weather has succumbed to the post-holiday blues. People who only had a few days back last week are facing the full five-day stretch and the teenagers are flagging. Daughter one has come down with a pre-university cold which no doubt we will all have in the next week, probably on a Monday.

My partner is on a gradual return to work after stress leave, meaning he can do more of the pick-ups for at least the first weeks so it’s not the full driving around the county extravaganza yet. Even so, I found myself on Friday picking up daughter three, dropping daughter one at the GP, doubling back to pick up only son [late] and then going back to get daughter one. This is what I loosely call my lunch hour. This was after going into London for a meeting earlier in the day, which is a bit of a marathon from where we live.

By Monday, we were into full logistics crisis planning. Daughter one had to be in south London for work, but had developed a heavy cold. She needed to be dropped at the station, which meant leaving early. Much of my life is spent calculating timings for short journeys to the second, taking into account tractors and combine harvesters [we live in the countryside].

I reckoned that, with the wind in our sails, we could make it to the station and back in time to drop off daughter three with her summer art project and only son. Then daughter three suddenly announced that she had to be in early to put her art project in the art room. Given time travel and human cloning are not yet possible, I told her she’d have to go with her dad and daughter two, really early. This did not go down well. I was already in daughter three’s bad books for insisting that she put her art project in a bin bag to ensure all the colours didn’t run in the rain. I feel I have way too much invested in art projects and the like because I usually spend quite a lot of time cheerleading people to do them when they’d much, much rather make a cool video or watch BTS [again].

Only son has announced he is doing a Mexico project this term. I am not sure my normal sheet-based costume is going to extend to an Aztec god. Daughter two is ditching sociology for Buddhism and daughter one is limbering up for Freshers’ Week next week. Part of me is worried I haven’t totally prepared her for every eventuality, which, of course, you can never do. Also, I can never remember which child I have told what. I worry sometimes that one of them will express deep sadness and shock at finding out, aged 30, that the Easter Bunny doesn’t exist…



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