Thinking back to half term holidays in recent years gone by, T would be out with friends most days – on his bike or at someone’s house – or one of his friends would be at our house. A would have been busying herself baking, reading, popping out to the shops or for a walk with me – generally occupying herself.
This half term has been almost a reversal of this situation.
T has had revision to do, admittedly, so has been occupied that way but has also been at a bit of a loose end during his scheduled breaks due to most of his friends being away. In contrast, A has been to a birthday party at a local “bouncing arena” type place, had a friend over to just chat and do whatever it is girls do when they get together, just and this afternoon has gone to another friend’s house for a sleepover. All three of these friends are new ones that she has made since starting at secondary. I am almost giving myself a little hug and am overjoyed that my mantra for the last 2 years of primary school “it will all be different at secondary school, it will all be different at secondary school…” has actually (so far) been spot on. It HAS been different. She has grown in self confidence without losing her innate kindness and thoughtfulness. She has maintained the few friendships that were good ones from her old school, but she is equally unafraid to do what SHE wants to do and chooses who SHE wants to spend time with. I am so very happy for her. I am also very proud. SHE has made this happen. The fact that she changed schools has enabled this change but SHE has made it work. My favourite motto that she has on a picture in her room is “She believed she could, so she did”. It sums her up totally.
Another difference for me this half term was going into work today. We normally all work from home during school hols as we all have kids and we all prefer to be around when they are off. But today I needed to train a new member of staff and so we all met up at the office. Until now I would have asked K to be at home, or would have asked G&G if they would do grandparent duty for the day and have them at their house. But, now they are both old enough to be left alone. And we regularly do, when they don’t want to come to Sainsburys or Homebase (who can blame them – even I don’t really want to go) and they are perfectly fine. But I have never left them ALL DAY. It was therefore with some reluctance and trepidation that I left the house this morning at 8.45am. By 10am I had created a Whatsapp group ‘Kids’ and messaged them “both ok?”. “Yep” was the response. And maybe a smiley emoji from A. I then heard nothing, and honestly was too busy to message them, until midday when T rang to ask could he have crackers for lunch instead of a sandwich, and could his friend come round about 1pm until I got back and then they would go out. Yes and yes – but don’t annoy your sister.
I’ve come home to a bit of washing up and a daughter desperate to get out to her friends for the aforementioned sleepover. The boys had gone out just before I got back as he had rung to see if it would be OK to leave A for a half hour until I got home, which it was.
I am now finishing off work (and writing my blog!) waiting for K to come home and an evening with just him and my boy. One day very soon it will be just me and him. All the time. Oh.