And so we come to the end of summer holidays and we return to school…
The kids have been in training for this moment for some weeks now, tucked up in their beds by ten each night, rising at eight the next day, breakfasting by about half-past ten, getting dressed shortly before midday… All totally on-schedule for getting to school on time for nine o’clock… in the evening. I think I now understand why they invented Night School.
This year is going to be a very different one for me. For the first time in seven and a half years, I am going to have some real and regular *Me* Time. Not just the kind of Me Time that is stolen while the children are transfixed to Ben Ten Alien Force Season Two or when I thrust my children into my returning husband’s arms and flee screaming to the local supermarket with a hip-flask of absinthe. I’m talking Me Time which involves two of my children being in school and one child being in kindergarten. For two and a half hours per week.
Yes, two and a half hours! My cup runneth over! But hopefully not with cheap champagne or vodka cocktails because that two and a half hours is on a Monday morning and picking kids up completely shit-faced at the start of the school week is not becoming behaviour for a pillar of the community like my good self.
Of course it will take some time before I actually get my two and a half hours. The kindergarten “transition” schedule takes a very slowly-slowly approach – starting with 45 minutes and increasing each weekly session by 15 minutes until you finally build up to the full two and a half hours shortly before the child’s 18th birthday. Whereas the school transition program, in comparison, is the equivalent of unceremoniously dumping your child in the deep end without a life jacket.
Tomorrow is The Pixie’s official first day at the school. I’m going to be entrusting her to the care of an age-old institution that will see her through the next 13 years to adulthood. My little girl. My aching heart.
Anyway, it’s good to know she’s entering this next phase of her life with no small amount of ambition. Why, just last weekend she asked me “What will you be when you grow up?”
Now, whether the “when you grow up” part was a compliment or an insult, I couldn’t be sure but I decided to push past it and answer her question honestly.
“A writer!” I exclaimed with gusto, sharing my hopes and dreams with my precious little girl.
“No! Not a writer! I meant a real job. Where you actually *do* something,” she replied, somewhat annoyed.
“Oh,” I said. “Could you give me an example of a ‘real job’?”
“Like working at McDonalds,” she replied, adding somewhat enthusiastically “I could come to work with you sometimes!”
Yep, should have seen that coming. But perhaps not her next statement:
“When I’m sixteen, I’m going to work at McDonalds. And then I’m going to get married!”
That’s it, my sweetheart. Aim for the stars! And one day you might just have two and a half hours to yourself like your mama.
Mmmmmmm….. two and a half hours….