Inspired again by Kate Takes 5's listography, here are my top 5 'thangs' about the Summer Holidays that I love (incidentally, living in Scotland means I only have 2 weeks of the summer holidays left up here so I am feeling somewhat nostalgic rather than staring 6 weeks in the face)!
1. NO SCHOOL RUN - I have never been a lark and don't leap out of bed full of the joys of spring. I do, however, grimace when the alarm goes off, grumble under my breath and grump all the way to the bathroom. Needless to say, I can do without the shout fest that is 'getting ready for school'. "Do you have your lunch bag?" "Go and clean your teeth." "For goodness sake, get your shoes on NOW!!" "Have you cleaned your teeth yet?" "No, I do not know where your hair slides are." "What do you mean you haven't cleaned your teeth?!" I haven't missed any of that. (Although, I should mention here that the BEST response EVER to the question, "are you ready yet?" was my then 8 year old son saying "Not yet. I'm dusting my Batmobile.")
2. CHILLING OUT WITH THE KIDS AND NOT REALLY DOING ANYTHING - I quite like a spot of 'what shall we do today?' This could end in painting pottery, going to our new (and quite fantastic) library, baking cakes, going for a walk or, as my previous post today shows, going for an Olympics inspired 'run'.
3. DISCOVERING THINGS WE NEVER KNEW ABOUT IN OUR PART OF THE WORLD - We live in East Lothian, just outside Edinburgh. Truly a beautiful part of the world. Gorgeous countryside, long, yellow sandy beaches, winding country walks and woods with hiding places and picnic spots aplenty. Of course, during the other 46 weeks of the year, we're too busy running around to actually fully appreciate it so it's nice to take the kids to a local beach, huddle together against the wind (I'm not feeling that nostalgic yet!) or go for a long, pointless walk. Bliss.
4. NO ACTIVITIES - OK, so that's not strictly speaking true. We do book the kids into a few summer activities. They both went to rugby camp last week and they're doing gymnastics and archery this week but it's all very leisurely and, more importantly, we don't have to balance it with school and homework. My usual week consists of the school run accompanied by Tuesday: badminton (Cheeky Boy), swimming (Toots); Wednesday: hockey AND cubs (CB), Rainbows (Toots); Friday: swimming (CB), Saturday: guitar (CB), ballet (Toots); Sunday: rubgy (both). Sure, we've booked them into all these activities and, on balance, they love doing them and we love the fact that they get to try out so many different things but not having to do them makes me appreciate the break that the summer holidays gives us all the more.
5. FAMILY HOLIDAYS - now I fully admit that purchasing an in-car DVD player was THE BEST decision I ever made and has made family holiday travel all the more bearable but I do like a wee trip with the kids too. The chance to take them to countries they haven't been to before (France this year) or parts of the world that they don't visit regularly (Devon last year or London where their auntie lives) means that we get the chance to introduce them to new things and I am constantly surprised at their interpretation of the world - not to mention that it gives us the chance to see things afresh too. My son's new found independence in France this year going to the local bakery every morning for baguettes, speaking French and figuring out the money was fantastic. It was a joy to see his confidence grow - and to have a lie in while he went for breakfast!
Still, as I said in my intro, this is almost a nostalgic look back for us with 2 weeks and only a few playdates and sleepovers left, it won't be long until the school run and the myriad of activities starts up again. So I really better make the most of it, hadn't I?