I am on holiday. I needed this. My rota kindly gave me an absolutely soul-destroying, body-crippling, brain-melting week to finish on, meaning I spent the entire first 24 hours in bed, barely human. I only have two shift ahead of me for the whole rest of the school holidays, and even then September is sedate as well after I worked far over my allotted hours and they are finally paying me back. I am appreciating the break. So much…
Already I have had a very positive physio appointment, which left me literally bruised but with some appreciation of the progress I have made and my path forwards. I had another lovely meeting of book group, and a great choice of next book which I am thoroughly enjoying. I savoured a politic rally, with a chance to hear my hopes of a left-wing future offering a more equal possibility for my children. I have had a wonderful family theatre trip in the beauty of Heligan gardens and a fabulous celebration of ten years since my first shambolic, hungover and slightly awkward date with my now husband.
It was a good start. Just the start I needed.
On Sunday I got on the train with the kids, leaving my husband home alone for over a week, whilst we come and stay at my parent’s house.
We are spending the week seeing lots of their cousins, with the older children going together to swim classes every morning. It has been great for them to spend time together, we sometimes feel so far apart so it’s good to build those family connections.
I have also managed to fit in a day of adventure with my old uni housemate and her kids. Sunshine, fresh air, miles of walking, dens to build, obstacles to climb, ice creams to eat, and tales to catch up on.
Holiday times are strange though. A life outside of reality. Even staying in the country, with familiar people and places and homes, it still feels foreign. Too many echoes of time passed, of past selves and half forgotten histories. There is time to reflect on these too, and that reflection is not always comfortable. Thinking of who I used to be, how I thought my life, and the lives of my friends would turn out. Remembering back to my days as a new mother, with a tiny baby that felt like the most enormous responsibility and the greatest mystery.
Today, I lost my three year old son in Sainsbury’s. One second he was there, and then he just wasn’t. And he was nowhere. I ran down every single aisle, over and over, head swivelling crazily looking for a tiny mop of white blonde curls somewhere. And they were nowhere. I was so sure he must have been taken. There was no way he could have completely vanished in what is a pretty tiny store just from wondering off. I had visions of the rest of my life wondering where he had gone, and never knowing if he was safe or if he was sad. Above all I just missed him, was so sad of all the amazing moments of him that I would not be there for, all his laughs and jokes that I wouldn’t hear…
After ten minutes utterly frantic, there he was happy as could be, riding on the Thomas the Tank Engine ride, completely oblivious of my terror, grin plastered across his face. I promptly burst into tears whilst he kept grinning, and my daughter burst into tears too.
I have felt pretty exhausted for the rest of the day. That was all of my emotional expenditure for the year. They have had a relaxed day of classic kids films, Lego, and illicit YouTube videos about Minecraft on their older cousins phone. I have managed a few hours of focused revision, which so far is going pretty well, and feeling really productive.
I hope everyone else is enjoying this rather wet summer, and maybe managing some reflection too, even if sometimes it feels a little uncomfortable.