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School’s Out

Written on the: July 20, 2017 by Helen Brenton

Are school’s out?! Oh yeah, of course, it’s that time of year again when Facebook is full of mums going ‘oh no, it’s that time of year again!’

Yup a whole six weeks or so of little darlings driving mums all over the country to distraction – and to drink! I must admit, I myself spent several evenings over the years staring into a wine glass, convincing myself fermented grapes were one of my five a day! Meanwhile, the kids, high on Sunny D and Skips, seemed to have no concept of routine, and had lost the ability to understand the meaning of the words ‘bed’ and ‘time’ when used in conjunction or the same sentence! Well this was the school holidays after all, they had left education behind for a few weeks!

Just recently I have been reflecting on those old school days. Rewinding back to the beginning I remember looking for nursery places, and discussing Ofsted reports and Sats results with pushy mums who had husbands with posh jobs, whilst telling myself deep down the kids would be just fine wherever they ended up!

That nervous feeling of going back to school when attending their first parents evening and coming away relieved they are doing just fine, despite not being at the ‘best’ school in the county! Their first sports day desperately hoping no one said ‘mums race’; and their first nativity play where they appeared on stage in an old stripey tea towel on their head it looked like everyone else’s mum had gone to Habitat and bought designer ones for the occasion!!

Then along came ‘big school’ – and it was big! Coming with it were big books and colour coded planners with homework I didn’t really understand – but good job the kids did, eh! I Remember how they drove me mad on a bad day, and round in circles on a good day!

Then forward fast a few years….

School really was out for one of my kids earlier this month, as I saw my middle son graduate from university. I recall how proud I was when I saw him standing there in his cap and gown. I started to remember his first day at nursery in his little shorts, the local village school where he learnt to read and write in a smart green pullover, and the guilt I used to feel leaving him and his brothers to walk home alone when they were a bit older while I, a single mum, got home from work.

And then I remembered how we all used to make cakes together after school, and go camping at weekends, and how we would walk along the beach, and paint pebbles, and try and work out what the birds in the trees were and what the different leaves were called.

Then I remembered, that actually, education is what they get at home too, and I remembered that memories are more important than anything….

So if I see one more Facebook status from school mums going ‘oh no – school’s out, peace shattered’ this is my response!

In ten years time or so your kids will be out of school for good – and you will have all the ‘peace’ you ever wanted, except it might take you a little while to get used to it. You might not actually like it to start with either! You might even feel a bit lonely at times, and you might miss the mess, the noise and the chaos ever so slightly! So for now, while you can, make the pasta collages, pick the shells on the beach, have the picnic in the park…. clear up the mess afterwards and most of all be proud, celebrate it and enjoy it.

There’s plenty of time for ‘me’ time as time grows old. But that said, there’s always a good excuse for wine time- anytime!!

Cheers everyone – have a lovely summer!



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