Do you find there is a certain treadmill quality to life?
I know the seasons rotate in an orderly fashion; months following months, hot sometimes following cold. Cold, wet winter chases the crisp frosty autumn days, just as blossoming spring precedes the fullness of summer and so on. The full moon wanes leading to the next crescent of new moon as the cycle begins again.
Was it only six or seven weeks ago we were all breaking up for that
long balmy summer ahead? Plans of how we would survive those days trying to entertain the children were being drawn up. Childcare being divided up between parents, grandparents and unusual educational activities. Holidays to be prepared for, shopped for and enjoyed, precious days spent with loved ones. The morning rush eased to permit treasured time to lie in or permission to watch CBBC. It already seems a blur on the fringes of our short term memory.
This weekend found me stepping back to the Rugby club with a new season already upon us. Youngsters the country over will have been registering with their clubs, learning new laws as they move up an age level, meeting up with old friends they may not have seen since April.
I; too caught up with friends who I have missed over the months. Friends who have stood solidly by me over the years as our children have suffered injuries, lost important games and grown with the game. There was a certain reassuring buzz of activity, smell of bacon butties and the constant flow of cheap instant caffeine that passes as coffee.
Even the forecasted sunshine kindly waited till the end of training to dry out the drizzle that had arrived on cue to welcome in the new season. Routine resumed its rightful order as boots were tried out for size, outgrown shorts that had just about lasted till the end of last season were replaced and shiny new mouth guards bought to protect developing teeth.
This rugby heralded the cog in the ever moving treadmill of life; children will this week return to school. Back from all the holidaying; now only a distant memory, flashing past on the digital photo frame. The juggling with childcare is finished as we hand our precious children back over to their new teachers. Some will be moving to new schools, colleges or universities; some will climb a rung on the well-worn ladder of their school hierarchy and some will be out in the world wondering where to go next.
I know this week will bring tears and heartbreak for mothers of reception aged children suddenly seeing their tiny tot in a complete new school uniform, breaking the baby bonds that up until now have been unyielding. Little people venturing out into a world without their mother’s perpetually protective hand supporting those faltering fearful footsteps.
Other mothers will suffer the effects of their children’s nerves; they will tolerate the self-importance of young adolescence and take a step back as their little one grows independent and superior joining the masses at Top School. Giving their once infants the space to be a big child in a world of even bigger children and learn to make their own waves in this ocean we call life.
There will be mothers who will reluctantly transport their offspring away to some way off university. Leaving their homesick tearful teenager in some bleak utilitarian room to carve their own way in the world, knowing this is the final bond to be broken as they allow their child to grow away from them. Reluctantly, leaving alarmed adolescents with reassurance, resolutions and reliance despite all their own reservations.
I feel lucky this year that I do not have to overcome the emotions of a momentous change in the cogs although No 1 Son is moving into sixth form. The change for him will not be as dramatic as he stays at the same school; nonetheless he will have to make his own decisions about how much he studies, what he wants to achieve from his A ‘levels and how he will apply them to his life. It will be a big jump for him to take control of his future; the same future he does not know what he wants to do with.
Middle Son glides up to this final year of GCSEs which he will find harder than before, not only due to the level of work from school but from the level of support for his schoolwork he will receive from his parents. Here is a boy who could achieve so much if he only focused long enough to acquire the necessary information to apply it. Had there been GCSE’s in BMXing, X-boxing or I-Padding he would be guaranteed straight A s. Unfortunately he is going to have to work hard this year to get the grades within his grasp.
Mini Son becomes a big fish in the small pond as he joins year 6, the final year before moving up to big school. He will be a role model for the younger classes a task he will fulfil brilliantly. He will be coerced into independence as he learns to accept responsibility and study hard filling in the missing bits of his education before bridging the gap and joining throngs of know it all secondary school children.
I will also return to my job at the school this week, sad to say farewell to the summer that never really materialised in terms of the weather. Reluctant to welcome those manic mornings trying to get all five of us out of the door in different directions on time with all the remembered kit for the day ahead. Unenthusiastic to return to the drudgery of routine after my long weeks of freedom from humdrum tedium, I know that it is only a matter of time before the wheel of time turns further.
Before we know it, half term will be upon us with Christmas poking its pointed head in our direction. The New Year will be here all too soon and then we will be half way through the school calendar. Exams will be sat and then the long holidays upon us again turning yet another full turn of that wheel.
I shall continue to climb the rungs of the treadmill expecting to reach the haven of happiness at the top but never quite arriving there as the wheel turns again for another season.
Whatever stage of the wheel you are at, keep climbing and keep focused. It is so easy to fall off the spinning circle but never easy to climb back on.
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