I've done it. Made it through another football club trophy family fun day. And noone died.
Nobody grabbed me and demanded an explanation for Monkey Boy's damaged trophy we graciously (scurriedly) returned. Someone else's name is now engraved on that. Outwardly I congratulated them with a warm smile. Inwardly I was cartwheeling. If my crap mending falls off - it's YOUR name on the plate buddy! I'm so mature. I'm 43. That poor proud boy is 9.
Had a slight worry when they were handing out the Under 7s medals though. The last medal had been lifted and presented and my little Rock Godling was still sitting there - bald-necked. Being the assertive and rock-solid Parent of Awe that I am, I thought 'I'll put me phone camera away then' - but then, like the Great Stupendo, the coach seemed to pull one last medal out from his sleeve and I re-raised my phone in slo-mo maternal joy - only it had skipped to alarm clock mode and while I was looking at that all befuddled, little RG had sat back down in his chair and I'd missed his grand moment. Ah well. It's not too hard to fathom why that damn phone has a great crack across the fascia. It's been hurled more often than a dodgy curry. Still, the boys had fun, we have 2 more medals to add to the tally, and we even had a genuine excuse to scarper before I felt the need for violence thanks to Minx's pre-organised 'cup of tea at Nanny and Grandad's'. There's no need to mention that this evasive tactic involved driving 45 minutes further away in the opposite direction to our house - it got me out of the Village of Hairshirt Hypocrisy without any arguments.
This pathetic little calendar scribble of a day for anyone else was a crippling clasp around my throat ever since the first text appeared. It was one of those 'this time last year events' that really try one's strength of character. Only it was really a 'this time last year was a this time LAST year' kind of a deal. This time 2 years ago was a bad time. This time last year was actually fine but the anniversary was stressful. So how long do I tear my eyelashes out at each re-run of each 'bad' time of year? There are so many sad events over the course of anyone's life and the following year's anniversaries will automatically bring emotions to the fore - but to get your stomach knotted up at these dates year after year is exhausting. It is inevitable I suppose - but the big events that were truly out of my control don't seem to hold the same vice-like grip as the shitty one's that I feel I should have seen coming. Stupid really. But maybe as each of these little boils are burst it may ease each year. As usual I just want the big magic wand to wave all my silly obstacles away.
I think this probably calls for something known as growing up. SO not ready for that!
To make up for this I would just like to share with you my first outraged 'Hhmmphhhh!!!' I've had with my usual reply to the 'No school today?' inquisition. As a rule I flip back with a 'Nah we don't bother with that' to which this time I added 'It's over-rated'. This particular shop keeper lady performed a perfect panto dame-esque back-turning and off-flouncing manouevre that would have Biggins begging for Drama Queen tips. I'm sure it was designed to make me feel small but I am so childish it just made me want to hug myself with delight, singing to myself 'We pissed a grownup o-off! We pissed a grownup o-off!'
How my children manage to get through life without dialing Child-Line is a wonder.
Having said that, seeing a friend's daughter today at the football thing - same 'school age' as my Minx - looking so pale and small and barely capable of saying 'hello' to me without obvious panic/distain just reaffirms my cheer at our Home Ed choice. Minx used to be as pale and dour. Then we set her free. She looked like a wild Amazon in comparison. Dressed bonkers, dyed hair, smiley and yes - communicative! Even with adults - gasp! Ended up running the drinks stall. (As long as they don't actually check the float against the cans distributed we'll be OK.) These 2 chalk and cheese girls used to be inseparable at school. They seem worlds apart now. Maybe Little Flower will suddenly blossom - I'm sure she will. But it just reminds me of those bygone stony grey days of school drop-off and pick-up time. It took all the 'summer holidays' time after we left school for good for Minx to thaw out those years ago. It was like someone breathed life and colour back into her frame. I remember saying to Mr GPants at the time 'We've got our daughter back!' I also remember saying this to Little Flower's mum. She said she felt the same about her girl by the end of the summer break. I think I left the conversation there.
I love the fact that the boys ask 'What are we doing tomorrow?'
I love the fact that they genuinely don't know what lies ahead.
And they're happy.
Even if the answer is 'You know - that art workshop thing'.
They're already thinking how they can turn the day to their advantage. And Rock G'ling can again wear the same filthy 'skulls on fire' top and splattered tracky bottoms he's worn in and out of bed for the last 3 days. I may still have to find socks - but they needn't match and we don't have to leave the house til midday. There's still some semi-eaten biscuits in the tin and Daddy's left-over choc chip brioche from his Father's Day Tesco's dash stash so I don't even have to make breakfast. Or get out of bed before 10.00 with any luck. Why on earth would I ever reconsider sending my beautiful savages to school?
It's worth every 'Hhmmmphhh!!!' we get.