My gorgeous two:
Summer’s gone by in a flash, and here we are again, on the brink of another year. I usually look forward to another year: new classes, new students, new staff, all shiney and new and full of promise. And I am looking forward to this year equally as much, but I feel also full of emotion. Because all summer long I’ve been with you two, and suddenly, tomorrow, that will be snatched away. Those bright, shining hours that we spent together, full of sweetness and excitement and laughing and love and arguing and shrieking and beauty and wonder and promise and frustration and tears and hugs – they’ll all be gone. A different lot of hours will take their place, but they’ll be – well – different – and so often in the shadow of work and pressure and time. I’ll be thinking about controlled assessments and A level essays and exam results and exam entries and assessment and planning and training and performance appraisal and my lovely students and their promise and what they deserve and what they need. And you’ll be back at school, thinking about friends and writing and reading and maths and creating and sharing and helping and showing. And our mornings and evenings will be full of things to do and lists to tick off – meals and tasks and reading and getting to bed on time – before I start work again for another night. And this won’t be bad – this is our life during term time, our busy, happy life – but it will be different. I will miss those hours – those hours where we had nothing to do but be together.
I will miss this about those hours:
– long mornings in our pyjamas where we read books, lots of books, and you talked about the characters as if they were real. ‘What do you think Mummy? Do you think Sugarlump really loved the unicorn for granting his wishes, or would he rather just have stayed at home all along?’ ‘I think I liked Mildred’s cat better than the black cats – he was more special because he was a tabby and they were all black.’
– glittering moments when I watched you both in the park or in the woods, chasing each other through the trees, and felt my breath catch in my throat at the perfection of you.
– car trips listening to audiobooks; you were so transfixed. That play of ‘The Railway Children’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, Terry Practchett’s ‘Wintersmith.’ I would glance in the mirror and see two little faces, gazing out of the window at nothing, intent on the wonder of the worlds of those books unfolding.
– evenings where you’d creep back downstairs after too many hours of reading in bed, and steal into my arms for a last cuddle, babbling about the book you’d just finished.
– afternoons in the park where I hardly saw you, so intent were you on the business of running and chasing and catching and jumping. Rainy mornings where you spent hours leaping from sofa to sofa, pretending to be dragons. Evenings where you sped up and down the stairs, lost in a world of robbers and police and thieves and capture.
There are things I won’t miss: the fighing, the indignant shrieking, the tale telling, the sheer unending weariness of how you spent hours hating each other, the dramatic tears over nothing, the cruelty with which you’d dismiss each other. But everything else – I wish I could capture those moments for ever, because they were full of wonder, of joy, of ease, and, most often, of heart stopping love.