It feels like Angelique's No. 1 and my No. 2 have been at secondary school for a while, but it's only been a couple of weeks. The two of them catch the same bus to the same town but to different schools. They are quickly learning the ropes of bus etiquette, including the 'dos' and 'don'ts' of where Year 7s (of any school) are permitted to sit. My No. 2 is surprising me by starting to be more self-organised, although Angelique's No. 1 has discovered that hanging around for him may result in them both missing the morning bus.
Mornings in my house see a flurry of activity (mine) and silent inactivity (my Nos. 1 and 2) until 7.30am when the boys depart running (always running) with heavy bags banging against their shoulders. Forty minutes of gently nudging sleeping heads to get out of bed, followed by rather louder reminders of the time, then more anxiously uttered "You are going to be late!", ending with an urgent "QUICK! What do you mean you've forgotten it's PE today and you can't find your trainers?! Your bus is going.....NOW!!" I breathe a huge sigh of relief as the door slams shut and I turn to the slightly more peaceful business of getting Nos. 3 and 4 ready for the day.
After school the fun kicks off again. The timetable stuck on my fridge door is groaning with clubs and commitments that are being crammed into a calendar that cries out for more days in the week. Yesterday I stared at it for 10 long minutes trying to figure out when and what the children were going to eat between clubs w, x, y and z. I held my head in my hands while I stared. I'm not sure it helped.
Thank goodness I'm not alone. I know this because I talk to my friends who are also navigating this crazy timetable traffic, and we laugh together at the tight schedules we have created for ourselves. We question whether it is worth it, and whether it's really important. Is it? Does it really matter if we only do half of what is planned? Is that why the boys can't get out of bed in the morning? Who knows! But there are millions of us doing the same.
I do know that as we whip through this new school term, the lazy summer days of rest and recuperation are well-remembered but growing hazy. Perhaps I should stick some summer photos next to the groaning timetable stuck on my fridge, so that if I find myself holding my head in my hands wondering how I'm supposed to be in three different places at the same time, even if I can't quite recapture that relaxed mode of being, I will remind myself that anything is possible and it's totally up to me. Now where do we have to be tonight.....
Angelique & Becky
Some of our favourite blogs...