You’d think, wouldn’t you, that two months and a week would be long enough for a school holiday. It certainly was for me.
Today the epic summer vacation came to an end for Son1 – Son2 still has another day (can you hear him laughing at his brother?).
Of course the preparations began weeks ago, starting with obtaining an appointment for shoes (yes, that’s how they roll at Clarks in the UK – the slots are like gold dust apparently) followed by the shoe-size shock (Son1’s feet are bigger than mine). Then there was the trip to the uniform store. The queue. The changing room – which was like trying to dress two woodland sprites. Every time I do this it feels like a woodland sprite dies, but do it we must as they keep growing out of their uniforms.
Saturday was spent labelling everything with a Sharpie, bringing out the new lunchboxes, water bottles. Laying out the clothes. Buying lunchbox supplies. We were ready. Night drew in and I silently punched the air, “We’ve made it!”
By the morning, the smell of toast and sight of shiny shoes and packed bags reminded me of that bittersweet feeling from childhood, when you’re excited to see your friends but don’t want the holiday to be over. I remained cheerful as Son1 stared at a sock.
“We’re going to take the new road to school,” I said brightly.
He sat glumly on the sofa. The corners of his mouth turned down. His face looked like spaghetti sliding off a plate, all droopy and dripping and sad. “Mum,” he said in a small, indignant voice. “Can I have a day off?”