I’m always honest (as you guys know), so I felt compelled to put it out there and state what might well be an unpopular opinion but what the heck: I’m sad the summer is over.
While some parents are completely relieved that their kids are back to school (and no judgement if that’s you by the way, kids are full-on), I’ve personally had a few little cries over here over the past few days (I was even choking back the blubs at the school gates this morning) as I’m just not ready to let summer go yet.
As a working parent, I absolutely know how hard it can be to work with, and around young kids (my book shares the highs and the lows) and I get that the start of term means greater structure and time to focus on earning that much needed crust with less juggling and more hot tea (I def missed hot tea) but I can only reflect my own life here and this summer for once, felt balanced-relaxed yet productive when I needed to be (with the kids complying: thank you Nickelodeon) and work was thankfully staggered. Not only did I get quality time with the kids and Peter but I also got quantity time.
The boys are now 8 and 6 so the endless bickering of summers past have now been replaced with more loving and laughter. Witnessing them holding hands or leaning on one another in the park and snuggled on the sofa watching movies was heartwarming. I miss hearing Alexander’s precious, utterly contagious laughter bellow around us now he’s back at school and my more introverted eldest seems to have become more confident this summer, even asking to set up his own YouTube channel (I’m not sure I’m ready for that one)!
I would like to provide some context too about these holidays. Undergoing a traumatic thyroid operation a few months ago, at the start of the summer, in fact couple with a wait to see if the removed nodule was cancerous (luckily, it was not) proved to be a life-changing catalyst, offering me a greater appreciation for ‘the every day’. It might sound cheesy but going through adversity and overcoming it provided me with greater clarity on all aspects of my life from relationships to my career and while undoubtedly reminding me of the importance of grabbing life by the horns it also highlighted the importance of self-care and silencing the people-pleaser in me, ensuring I say ‘no’ more, and worry less about the trivial things that so often consumed me pre-op.
I’m not yet ready to blog in detail about that period yet but not being able to swallow solids or play or even laugh properly with my kids for weeks on end or without acute pain or the feeling I was choking during recovery made me re-evaulate my life once I was over the worst.
I had to slowly build my confidence back up day by day post-op (at the start, even walking was a mission, I was out of it) enforcing rest and taking life slower. Faster and busier doesn’t mean better or more productive.
In many ways, the worst thing to have happened to me has turned out to be the best.
I’ve learned I have a reserve of strength I never knew existed, and equally discovered who my real friends are. A useful lesson in life at any time.
I know who I am so much more thanks to that operation.
And so this was a summer of fun and celebration.
We lapped up the beauty of Windsor, had a house move, spent time on the beach in Bournemouth, a break in the Cotwolds, we saw old friends and made new ones too, and explored parts of the borough we’d never seen before. The kids often came to work with me on the days I needed to film (with Oliver even making a trip to Manchester with me, when I was on BBC Breakfast which saw us on a mother and son adventure we still speak of today) and we were invited to some cool premieres too.
It was a summer of memory-making, so yes, I’m not ready for it to end and I’m certainly not ready for the endless early starts: the school-runs and pick-ups (I was late again today), the after-school activities and the stricter routine…and I’m not quite ready to stop crying. Not yet.