….and my life is back to normal. I can’t stop looking at her. She’s had an amazing time and I’m so glad I agreed to let her go. She’s the bravest girl and I’m incredibly proud of her. And she’s home.
It’s nearly over. I’ve almost made it through the week. Bizarrely, today has been the worst day. Worse than Monday even because it’s a nothing day. It’s the day before the big day. It’s the poor relation of the week. I’ll be excited beyond belief tomorrow. I was gutted on Monday. Tuesday I was being all positive, Wednesday I got my letter and was at the midway point. Today’s crap. Despite seeing a photo of her looking happy having breakfast, I’ve not been able to settle and tonight T is out at Open Evening which I should be at with A. It’s all wrong. I guess the early wake up at 5.30am hasn’t helped my frame of mind and I’m probably a bit sugar overloaded from the bag of wine gums I’ve eaten. I finished my book which was lovely and I’ve started another which is a bit of an unsettling story.
I can’t wait to see her. I know I’m going to embarrass her when I see her – especially as she will be all independent where she’s been away from me for 5 days. Five days!!!!! Five long, long days. I want to squeeze her tight and just look at her.
I don’t get this really. I’m not a gushy mum. I think my kids are great – not all the time obviously – but I don’t think I harp on about it. God I hope I don’t. I don’t do I? So where’s all this coming from? It’s the little things I’ve missed. The cuddles and the smiles and the notes. She writes me a lot of notes and I love it. The laughing. She does make me laugh and she likes to laugh. Actually, thinking about it – they’re not the little things. They’re the big massive things that make us a family. Yes I still have T and K for hugs and laughing but when one piece of the puzzle that makes our family is missing it’s just not right.
There won’t be banners or “welcome home” cakes. I promised some home baked brownies and maybe a takeaway. What I think she’ll really want most is a bath, a cuddle (with us and Jerry probably) and a lovely nights sleep in her own bed. And I will be in heaven.
Quick post as I can’t wait until tonight.
I wasn’t expecting our letter from A to arrive until Thursday or possibly even Friday. so imagine my surprise and utter delight when I saw a little brown envelope with my own handwriting on the front on the doormat just now. I nearly cut my finger off in my rush to open it. I can’t begin to explain the relief when I saw these three words at the top of the page – “I’m very happy!” . The rest of the letter is a bit of a blur and I will read and re-read it again for the rest of the week, but just to see those words was enough. She’s happy. (I can even forgive her for using the paper back to front!)
Day two nearly over so in theory nearly halfway through….
Today I decided to find positives in being out of my normal routine. K left for work at 6am and T got up at 7am then left at 7.40am for the bus. I’d normally be up somewhere between 7am and him leaving. But today I didn’t have to go anywhere. I’ve decided to work from home (WFH) this week so I didn’t even really need to get dressed!
After T left I made a cup of tea and some toast and ate it in bed whilst reading my book. Very lazy and indulgent and I loved it! I’m reading a book that Mrs C from book club lent me and it’s perfect for this week. I’d been reading some thrillers which were a bit unsettling and not what I needed this week.
As I’m WFH and don’t need to leave the house I’ve slobbed out all day in joggers and hoody. Warm and toasty. No going out in the rain and cold to do the school run!
It’s been quite nice not going up to school. I dreamt last night that I’d turned up and everyone thought I’d gone mad. (Too potentially possible to be shrugged off as a silly dream!) It’s a good insight into this time next year when I won’t ever need to set foot in the village school again. I will still have a school run to do big it’ll be more a case of chucking them out of the car a mile away from Roundwood in the morning and then attempting to get a parking space to collect them in the afternoon! No standing in the playground feeling like I wished I was somewhere else. I will miss my talks with Mrs Lovely but she can’t get rid of me easily and I will still see her regularly. And I will see Mrs C at book club. Can’t think of anyone else I will miss!
So, although I have thought about her ALL day “she’ll be having lunch now”, “steering the boat this afternoon”, “dinner time”, etc. it has been just bearable and I have had some positive moments.
(My Tuesday package from Mrs F was a pack of sticky notes. With a message “you and I are more than just friends, we’re like a really small gang.” Love it. Made me smile. As have the text messages checking in on me from some lovely people. Thank you.)
The day has arrived. And nearly gone. So in theory we’re almost one day down already. (Trying sooooo hard to be positive right now).
Unsurprisingly I didn’t sleep well last night. I’d actually enjoyed the weekend. Lots of distractions in the form of a fantastic memory making day with Miss T and Little Miss J and Mrs F on Saturday and even yesterday wasn’t too bad. I’m incredibly grateful to my amazing friends who are all looking after me in their own wonderful ways. A cupcake from Mrs Lovely and a bag of goodies (one item for each day) from Mrs F (a bar of delicious dark choc today – I can see my friends all think I’m a foodie – and how right they are!) as well as very kind texts and messages. Anyone would think I was bereaved. In some ways if feels like that.
Anyway back to last night. We had lots of cuddles and hugs before bed and she was very excited. We’d been given the itinerary for each day in advance and T went through each day with her so she knew what to expect. She’s very like me for wanting to know what’s going to happen. Control freaks. She went off to sleep quite happily and I enjoyed Downton before going up as well. About ten minutes after I got into bed she appeared in my room a bit wild eyed and making no sense whatsoever. Sleep walking? Never happened before. She came to and I got her back to bed. Only to have her then calling me in half hour later as she couldn’t sleep! Not a great omen for the next day!
She got up and was perfectly cheerful and excited and oblivious to the previous nights commotion. Good. I was upbeat (hopefully in a non-Stepford wife way) and excited for her. We got to school. We hung around. A lot. A couple of mums I know reasonably well caught my eye and raised a brow in a “you ok?” way. Not helpful but thanks. Mrs Lovely was perfect. K was able to come which helped too.
Then it was time to go. A massive hug and I nearly lost it. Held it together again and went off out to the coach. I got held up behind other parents and we only managed a “bye love you” across the car park as she strode off to get on the coach. I’m so proud of my brace independent girl. No hanging around waiting for the other girls to see where they were sitting. Straight on. In her seat near the front and waving out the window to me. She was soon joined by two of the girls who sat behind and then just as they were getting ready to go Mrs Eggar sat next to her. And off they went.
We got back to the car just in time before the waterworks started. From relief more than anything. Yes I am going to miss her ridiculously lots but I’m so proud of her. I don’t think I was ever that brave and even now I hate going to events or nights out on my own.
Tonight I am going to snuggle up with Jerry, who I have been given custody of for the week, and T and I are going to have a Smallville session. With some chocolate. And stalk the school account on Twitter.
Day one – done.
So what’s news? Been up to much? Weather’s been awful hasn’t it? Not much to report here.
I’d like to wow you with all the fantastic things I have been doing instead of blogging but the truth is… I can’t. It hasn’t been a conscious decision not to blog, I just haven’t felt the urge to. Actually, just reading that back I realise that’s not true. I have had the urge to but I just haven’t. Nothing seemed interesting enough to talk about and the few things that were potential topics seemed a little pretentious.
The long and the short of it is that I have been in the doldrums. The Sunday Night Blues have been edging their sneaky way into Monday and Tuesday and, well, you get the picture. Whether it’s being back in the routine of school and work and home and cooking and washing and homework and packed lunches or whether it’s the looming School Trip and all my concerns and worries building up, I don’t know. Probably a bit of both. A lot of both.
I don’t mind routine and I don’t mind cooking (quite like it at the moment as we are trying out some new ideas and it’s all quite interesting and new), I don’t even really mind the washing and the packed lunches. Homework isn’t such an issue anymore as T just gets on with it on his own with little or no input from me and A is getting on with the enormous number of tasks on her “grid” which appear to be straightforward enough. So it’s the trip then. I knew this would happen and I’m not sure if I’m making it worse by thinking too much but the closer it gets the more I am feeling out of control. I’m having “busy” dreams again and waking early feeling knackered.
The situation with the other girls seems to have been relatively settled since they have been back at school. I almost wish they weren’t. Because a period of calm is normally always followed by an “incident” and I really don’t want the timing to be wrong and have an “incident” occur while they are away. In the meantime I am doing all the right things – buying a top for the disco (hopefully one that will be deemed appropriate by the fashionistas) and getting toiletries sorted out. But my heart’s somewhere in the pit of my stomach and I can only hope that the smile belies my true feelings.
I don’t want her to go. Rather, I don’t want her to go without me. Mrs F and I joked a while back that we should both take the week off work and go up to Norfolk incognito and keep watch. Much hilarity ensued over costumes to make us look like seals on Blakeney Point. Somewhere in my rational mind (I know it’s in there somewhere) I can hear the voice telling me that she will be fine. She will be fine.I am not going to be fine. I’ve booked the day off on Monday so that I can wave her off and come home and cry. Let’s not pretend that I’m going to do anything else. I cried when T went and he had lots of lovely, lovely friends going with him. So it’s a done deal that I will cry on Monday. Ideally I don’t want to see anyone for the rest of the week, as I know they will want to know how I am. I am going to be waiting for any little snippet of information on Twitter and I am going to not let my phone leave my person for one second. Poor K and T. It’s going to be a LOOOOONG week.
But perhaps when the week is over I will start to feel like me again. Perhaps I will begin to enjoy cooking new stuff and going to Pilates (restarted last week and it’s great, just not completely great) and going out for dinner with a friend and making plans. Roll on the 25th September. Until then, hibernation.
I thought the Sunday night blues couldn’t get worse than the one at the end of our holiday. I was wrong. Oh, how very wrong. This time they began around midday. I’ve been out of sorts and snappy and just downright miserable. Worse still, I’ve known it and have yet been simply unable to stop it.
I can’t put my finger on why exactly but I suspect it’s a mix of different emotions and anxieties.
1. A is going into her final year at junior school, with a teacher that I have little faith in. As much as I have been encouraging A to be open minded and to see how it goes, I’m feeling almost entirely the opposite.
2. She is going away in two weeks for 4 nights with her class to Norfolk. It’s a fantastic trip (T also went when he was in year 6 and had a wonderful time) and I’m sure she will enjoy it. But I’m worried. Very very worried. I’m hoping that if I worry all week while she’s away (and probably for the next two weeks before she goes) then she will have no problems and will have the time of her life. The fact that she’s starting back at school tomorrow makes the trip even more real.
3. I always regret the wasted days in the holidays. The wasted opportunities and the time spent moaning or nagging and not enjoying EVERY minute. Yes, I know this is unrealistic and only a liar (or an incredibly lucky person) would say that they’ve enjoyed every moment of the holidays, but I regret it nonetheless. I always start off with such high hopes and ideas and enthusiasm. Saying “we can do that in the holidays!” and meaning it. Until we don’t. Or dreaming of sunny days out doing wonderful things. And then the reality of British weather and work come along and scupper it. Regret.
4. I’m starting back in the office tomorrow. I’ve not been enjoying my job lately. Even before the holidays I was finding it monotonous, aggravating and just downright intrusive into homelife. The downside of working from home is its always there. I can put the laptop away and try and pretend but it’s still there in the back of my mind that I should be working. I’m contracted to “check in” on stuff over the weekend and so on Thursday nights when I ceremoniously log off “for the weekend” it’s not really as meaningful as I make it seem. I’ve been back doing this role for around 18 months now and it’s starting to sink in why I didn’t want to go back to a customer facing role again. I’d thought at the end of the maternity cover that it was just a bit of bravado when I told Dan that I was happy doing paperwork and the data entry stuff, because I was covering up that I was disappointed that the new mum had decided to come back. I now realise it wasn’t bravado. I really don’t like dealing with customer. I may be good at it. But it’s hard work being polite and conscientious all the time. Even by email. It’s so tempting to reply “who gives a s**t?!” But we need me working and when offered a flexible job in a role that’s not dispensable I would have been mad to say no. (When the new mum eventually went off to work for someone else).
5. T went back to school on Friday but A was still off so it didn’t seem so bad somehow but now it’s Sunday again and with both of them going in tomorrow it seems a hundred times worse. He’s in year 9. Year 9. How? How is he old enough to be choosing options for GCSE? How is he old enough to have size 9 feet and friends with breaking voices?! Sometimes I want to stop time and rewind and go back to myself at 34 and him at 4 and say to myself “stop, look at him and remember this”. Because it’s all moving so very quickly and I’m feeling like I’m on one of those runaway carts in a mine with a broken handle and I just can’t stop. Or even slow down just a touch.
Oh dear I hope these SNB’s let up soon. I suspect there’s one much worse one to come soon but after that perhaps I can sit smugly on a Sunday night feeling in control?