This morning my son went off to spend the day with his cousin. There’s not a lot that’s unusual about this, but it’s been a date which has been in my diary for weeks. It’s been a little beacon of peace in what has been quite a busy summer. I’ve been looking forward to today for ages. I had grand plans to catch up on some work, do a bit of life admin, tidy up a bit and maybe just sit and watch something on TV, something which isn’t Horrid Henry!
I’ve done most of my work, I’ve done my life admin and drunk some still hot when I got to them drinks. It’s been very useful, but I’ve not loved it. I went on Twitter and just tweeted about my day, I described our days together as lovely chaos, and in that I think I perfectly described him and us and our family life.
Like many family homes a late night walk to the bathroom means you run the gauntlet of discarded toys. There’s still an element of paddling when you go to the loo, the dining table is covered with half made crafts, science experiments, and drawings he has done or is doing. I don’t have a living room, I have a room which is given over to a wonderfully complex wooden train set which I’m pretty much forbidden to touch, lest I do something wrong.
The kitchen is a mess, mostly of his making. His constant school holiday hunger is driving me close to bankruptcy. I can’t make, bake or buy enough food to fill his belly each day. His favourite snack is toast which he’s recently learned to make himself. My kitchen is now given over to shifting dunes of toast crumbs and sticky surfaces where he’s dolloped honey or jam.
I wouldn’t change a thing.
This summer hasn’t always felt like my favourite. He’s pushed back a bit, he’s trying to assert himself and I’m giving way where I need to, he’s 8 now and needs room to grow into himself. Equally, he’s 8 now and needs to stop thinking he is king of the house and my direct line manager. He needs to learn to give and take and to listen to me. Like the time I told him not to walk into ankle deep mud whilst wearing the only shoes he had with him for the weekend.
The house seems too quiet, too tidy and too big without him. He goes back to school next week and I’m getting a little taste of my days without his lovely chaos. I will miss him and all the really ace stuff we’ve been doing, but he needs to get back into a routine. I need to start cracking on with my life and it would be nice to get my house back to something approaching tidy.
I’ve loved my summer of lovely chaos with my boy, the highs have been high and the lows thankfully not too low. We’ve been on adventures, we’ve done a million things, but being with my boy, learning with him and about him is the loveliest thing of all.