10 July 2012

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Although the weather outside suggests otherwise, my calendar is telling me it is now officially summer. It certainly doesn't feel like summer, but maybe it will do by the end of the week when Lily and Arthur both break up for the Summer holidays.

I live my life by the academic year these days. The end of each school year is a pretty major thing for me at least. It seems only yesterday that Lily had her very first nerve-racking day at school: a little girl in a big school. To think that she starts year 3 in September seems nothing more than ridiculous: that's junior school years! Obviously she is growing all year round, but it is at the end of each academic year I really come to realise it.

Long-term readers of this blog may recall the difficult times we had just over a year ago when we opted to move Lily from her previous school into an local independent school. It was a huge thing on so many levels. Yesterday she came home with her end of year report; a document of sorts that would tell us in black and white if we were right to make the decision we did. I shed a tear reading it. Proudness,  relief, or a combination of the two: whatever it was it made me realise that we undoubtedly made the right choice. The report was everything I could have wished for; the best possible end to the year.

I do love the summer holidays. They are long and they can, at times, be extremely hard work. But I'm all too aware of how quickly my kids are growing up and that the next seven and a half weeks must be cherished. I welcome the break from the repetitive late evening routine of getting pack lunches made and school bags packed (when all you really want to do is collapse in front of the TV) and the early morning rush. Why is it however organised you are the night before and however early you get up in the morning it's always a frenzy getting the out the door by 8:15 am? So I'm looking forward to time reading books, museum trips, lego building marathons, baking biscuits, craft days (if the weather stays wet) and days on the beach, time down the allotment, play dates at the park and outdoor swimming pools (when the summer weather finally arrives).

However, on the other hand, the summer holidays are the busiest time for us work-wise: an imperative part of our year when we have the most clients to handle. So as soon as school finishes so do my three mornings a week in the office. That's pretty stressful. I have to try and cram in some work in the evenings or at weekends or else David has to have the kids so that I can go to the office to work, but he really can't spare time out of the office so if that happens he then has to spend the evening catching up on emails. There is no easy solution really. We have this every year. I don't quite know how, but we tend to get through it. Every year we say 'never-again', but the thing with being self-employed, particularly during a recession, is that you don't want to be turning down work. The future is hard to forecast at times like these.

This year though will be slightly different. We've booked a trip abroad. We last ventured on a foreign holiday pre-kids some nine years ago. Sorry Cornwall, but this year we're off to Spain for 10 whole work-free family-centered sunny days. Somehow, no matter what the weather does here or what work demands of us, knowing we are getting a proper break makes it all that bit more manageable. Come on summer: bring it on!

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