Today my boys went back to school.
The return to school after the long summer holiday is always a time of mixed emotions. Joy that I have a little more free time to myself again but also sadness that they’re not pootling around me all day. I often have a little wobble and need to pull myself back together again in September.
It means the return of daytime dips, sneaky coffees with friends, having space to write again and get back to work. It also means a return of the daily drudge of the school run, getting dressed before lunchtime and a more strict routine.
But of course, this year’s different. We’ve had an incredibly extended break (I was going to say holiday but frankly this hasn’t been a holiday for anyone). A break of restricted means, at times unable to go out for long each day, no museums, playgrounds or activities to partake of. Long spells of being stuck at home all day. Little interaction with others on either mine or their part. A lot of boredom and frustration all round.
Much as the unfurling events of March were a huge change to all of our lives so too the return to school is a big change. A change that we’re all ready for but still something that I know will take adjustment and time to get used to.
As lockdown has eased we’ve carefully ventured out into the world. I think all of us at some point have been overwhelmed by people on our first few trips out. I came home from shoe shopping with them last week and instantly fell asleep on the sofa. By brain has lost its stamina for that level of public interaction. I know too the boys will be exhausted and overwhelmed by 6 hours a day back at school, having to deal with other people’s needs and behaviours and schedules rather than our little laid back family pod of 4.
I know this pandemic isn’t over but for me the return to school marks a significant change. Whilst we are very much living in a new normal with different ways of working and interacting, no longer having the boys around is for me, a return to normality. A return to the lifestyle I’d worked so hard for over the last few years, the potential that new work and prospects are now in reach rather than feeling entirely unattainable as they did a couple of months ago.
My mood has noticeably lifted in the last couple of weeks as school has loomed. Yet, I’m bracing myself for the empty house.
My husband took the boys to his parents for the long bank holiday weekend so that I could have some very much needed guilt-free space. It was lovely but every day the house felt empty without the boys around. I couldn’t wait for them to come home for a huge squeeze.
The last few months have been hard, there have been many, many times I’ve not wanted to be here, to run away. I felt hugely restricted by having the boys at home all the time and yet when I look back through all of the photo’s I’ve taken we’ve had some really good bits. Some lasting memories that I don’t think we’d have had chance to make had we not been stuck with each other for all of this time.
Now is the time to come back out again, roll with the emotional wobbles and start afresh 🙂