It’s the first Monday of the summer holidays, and the first summer holidays for us as a family as my son has just finished Reception year. I have to say that I’m bricking it about how I’m going to cope with having him around all the time, but I’m getting used to the idea.
What struck me this morning is how I’m actually going to miss the school run. It’s felt like the end of term has been weeks and weeks away, and now it’s finally arrived.
When my son started at school I was apprehensive about drop offs and pick ups, not least because he had been clingy right up until his last day at nursery. In fact he surprised everyone by running in every morning without even a backward glance. My concern turned out to be unfounded and it was the same situation with the school run. We’ve all read the horror stories about cliquey mums and having to spend hours getting yourself ready to make your entrance every morning.
Actually I’ve been really lucky with the other mums in the class (and mustn’t forget the dads, grandparents and other assorted picker uppers). Nobody looks you up and down as you come through the gate or blanks you if you’re not wearing the latest athleisure trend. There’s a huge mix of cultures, nationalities, ages and clothing styles going on.
What unites us is our kids
There’s always someone else who is going through the same as you, whether that’s dealing with a fussy eater or an unwarranted emotional phase. They can tell how much sleep you’ve had by your expression and don’t mind if you offload your frustrations. They remind you when it’s non uniform day or when the office has changed the plans again (invariably without any notice). They’re also there for distracting conversation, when you just don’t want to talk about your day but need some social contact. Many a time I’ve felt much better after pick up than before it. They also give you some perspective. Yes it might feel like the end of the world when your son doesn’t get a place at after school club, but you can guarantee that someone else is dealing with much tougher circumstances.
It’s hard to know how much our kids will change over the holidays, and whether we will change with them. All I know is that I’m already counting down the days til the next playdate!