I’ve been perplexed at every ‘Just two weeks until they’re back’ or ‘Why is the summer so long’.
Perhaps I’m the strange one, but you see, this summer has sped by.
You’ve not bombarded us with bad behaviour.
You’ve not had to be busy daily. Spending more money than we had. Sure, you’ve eaten your weight in ice cream, but it’s been – dare I say – easy to keep you satisfied.
I’ve not once wished time away.
I’ve not once wished for tomorrow to arrive sooner than it needs to.
I’ve simply enjoyed you.
See, it’s drummed into us that we should enjoy the early years because we won’t get them back. That it’s not meant to be easy and they’ll break our hearts. But how many of us truly take this on board?
I’ve tried my hardest this summer. Likely ran up an horrific water bill to see you play a little longer. Kept screen time at a normal – if not reduced – level and engaged in some brain time, physical time, just you and I time. Let you be messy. Forget to brush teeth here and there. Let you shout that little bit louder before I tell you to shush.
Because I want you to embrace summer and embrace your time with me while you still want me. I want us to just be – all screaming, shouting and feeling. I want you to remember your old mother enjoying you.
So, no, I’m not ready for tomorrow. I’m not ready to ‘get rid’ of you. There’ll be a best-friend-shaped hole in the living room and on the trampoline and next to the garden tap, for six whole hours a day.
Do we need better routine? Oh, undoubtedly. Do you need to see your friends? You’ve not forgotten them whatsoever. Do you want and need to learn all things new? Of course: you’re my clever little monkey.
So it’s time to enjoy you, but as big-boy-school you. As newly-four and fabulous. As my clever, little Reception man. And you’ll be just fine. So long as you eat your dinners.