And…that’s a wrap! Yep, Summer’s over, school’s back, and my favourite month is under way! Though I’m a little sad to leave our Summer fun behind, to be honest.
A mixture of old favourites and new experiences this year – camping in Dartmouth and our week at Stepaside, near Tenby are regular fixtures; a weekend in Prague for the Husband and I – with no kids! – was an unexpected bonus; another new addition to the summer schedule was the Husband and kids meeting up with friends for a camping trip while both Mums went back to work (sob). Add into that spending three weeks working with 16 young people on a construction course (my job is ace sometimes!) and finally getting planning permission for the House Project and it really has been a completely packed – and very fun, summer! I really need to get to sorting out our photos at some point soon, in the meantime here’s a few of my favourites…
There’s so many more, but I’m quite sure that you’ve probably reached your tolerance levels for averagely-instagrammed-and-not-too-identifable pictures of my kids in the sunshine so I’ll leave it there – for now!
Linking up with the lovely #countrykids folk at Coombe Mill – pop over and have a read about the outdoor fun and frolics of far more talented bloggers than me!
So something a bit weird is happening on Friday afternoon. In fact, a lot weird. At around 3pm the Husband and I will be leaving for three and a half days away, without the kids. Three and a half days – we haven’t spent that long together since my biggest boy was born nine years ago!
We’ve only ever done the 24 hours away thing since having kids. And we all know how thatgoes. If you haven’t had kids yet, here is a handy guide:
1.Guiltily beg childcare – this gets more difficult the more of the little outers you spawn.
2.Get all excited at the thought of sleep, and then realise that the Husband is getting all excited at the thought of something else entirely. Ooops.
3.Arrive somewhere. Have a beer to relax.
4.At some point between the third and fourth beer, decide that now would be a REALLY good time to have a chat rant about all the things he’s done in the last 6 months that have got on my nerves.
5.Proceed towards full blown domestic.
6.Eat meal in stony silence.
7.Possible truce for, er, something else entirely, depending on how stony the silence was and amount of alcohol consumed.
8.Wake up feeling crap, pack up, go home and tell everyone how wonderful it was to spend some time together.
Sound familiar? Yep, thought so….
So, back to this weekend. It’s an unexpected treat for me – we had been invited to a surprise celebration with some special friends, but for various reasons including the time away from the kids, the distance and the cost we had decided that the Husband would go alone, and had booked his flights accordingly….then a couple of weeks later I received this lovely message, which certainly cheered up a dull morning in work!
What lovely friends!
But, reader, three and a half days? We are used to squeezing any conversations into approximately three and a half minutes twice a day – once as I leave for work, and once in the window of time between them all falling asleep and me conking out too. What the WHAT are we going to talk about for three and a half days? I did mention this to the Husband, who merely raised his eyes and said drily ‘I’m sure you won’t have a problem filling the silence, sweetheart’ – not sure what he means by that exactly…
But I know he is a bit nervous too – not least because he couldn’t hide his look of relief when I messed up the online check in and we ended up in separate rows. I could practically see him doing the maths – two hours there, two hours back, well that makes a bit of a dent in it…sadly for him, Easyjet came good and reallocated the seats, ha!
This weekend feels like even more of a big thing because this time last year, we weren’t even managing the above mentioned three and a half minute conversations in a civil fashion. It was difficult to see back then how we would ever be able to move forward as a couple, and it did seem for a while as if we had reached the point of no return. But return we did, and I am glad, and I feel like going away together this weekend will be a celebration of that, especially as we are returning to the Czech Republic, one of the first places we visited together, and where we were married….awww shucks!
Three and a half days! Reader, I shall report back!
My biggest boy, the last in my series of ‘right here, right now’ posts. This time nine years ago I was 34 weeks through an easy pregnancy, and blown away by the fact that I was soon to meet my long awaited baby. Nine years!
He is growing into a little man faster than I am ready for! Already nearly as tall as me, he managed to actually lift me off my feet yesterday – no mean feat as I’m not as spritely as I once was, by any means. We occasionally go running together and though he claims to be ‘rubbish’, I’m pretty sure he’ll be outrunning me in the not too distant future. His stamina amazes me – two hours of canoeing on a Sunday doesn’t seem to leave him remotely tired – though he can and does eat like a horse afterwards!
My nearly-nine-year old is brilliant company. He is a serious soul with plenty to say, and while he can hold his own in a group, he’s always much happier with a on-on-one conversation, and I cherish our chats after his sister and brother have fallen asleep. It’s then he takes me on tours of the creative and complex Minecraft worlds he has built, full of roller coasters and tree houses and amazing creations that he is constantly tweaking and perfecting day by day. I’m astounded by the thought and the imagination that he puts into these creations, and though I was sceptical about the game itself at first, I can see that he is gaining a great deal from being able to create and manage his own private places, even just in a virtual sense.
It’s also during these post-bedtime chats that he shares with me his worries about life, which sometimes overwhelm him to the point where he goes into major meltdown mode. We’ve been working together to find ways to head off a meltdown before it takes over completely, and also talking a lot recently about how it’s as important for him to be kind to himself, as it is to be kind to others. This last point seems to have resonated with him more than any other confidence-building strategies I have tried, and I’m so, so happy to see him enter his tenth year in a much calmer and happier frame of mind…long may it continue!
I’ve written before about taking small steps with my lovely, big hearted boy, and now it seems he is taking small steps of his own – recently his browsing history included the phrase ‘how to deal with disappointment’ in amongst the endless Minecraft and Stampy Longnose based queries. I found this heartbreaking at the time – but on reflection I think perhaps it shows a developing maturity and a growing realisation that he is not helpless in the face of whatever life throws at him.
Though part of me wishes it wasn’t happening so soon, I’m proudly watching the way my biggest boy is taking the first steps towards the grownup world – he walked the short distance to his best friend’s house on his own yesterday, and he’s also been on an errand to the local shop for the Husband – something which he was very chuffed about indeed. He’s started wandering off to the kitchen to make his own toast at random times of the day , and asking me to make him the odd cup of tea – all small rites of passage on the growing-up journey…I only hope the next years don’t fly past too quickly!
My biggest boy, there’s so much to love about you, and I hope with all my heart that you are beginning to understand that.
I’m linking up with Magic Moments over at The Olivers Madhouse – there’s a bunch of posts over there full of happiness and joy, pop over and have a look!