Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Six Sleeps and Counting

Okay - probably ought to preface this post by saying I am a little teensy, weensy bit drunk (and intending to get slaughtered...but only after I have hit "publish post".  God this chardonnay is like drinking liquid butter).

So it was the boys' last day at school.  I am dealing with all these goodbyes on autopilot.  I know the tears are being stored up to be shed later (hopefully they are being stored in my increasingly ample thighs, which will shrink to microscopic proportions when the tears are finally set free...fingers crossed).

I have been dreading this day, but it ended up being very civilised, verging on anti-climatic.  There were no street banners, streamers let loose from the roof or marching bands.  It was just like any other end of term day, with the exception that both boys received beautiful hand made scrap books from their classes as a memento.  We have been pouring over them since we arrived home.  No doubt, I will be able to commit each page to memory within the next 24 hours.  But the boys have taken it all in their stride and don't seem to truly appreciate that this was their last ever day at this school.  Or maybe they do and I have just raised a couple of heartless little buggers?  Time will tell.

This school has been such a huge part of my life for the past four years.  A lifeline, much of the time.  I know their class mates so well and have meaningful relationships with many of the parents.  Strange to think this life will continue without us.  I am going to miss it.

The boys are so focused on Christmas right now, that nothing seems to be particularly phasing them.  Which is a good thing.  We went to a Christmas party at the weekend and, of course, Santa was there.  Even at the ages of 5 and 7, they are still a little intimidated by Santa.  Almost reverent.  Mind you, that's a darn sight better than a few years ago, when they regarded Santa as a combination of the Abominable Snow Man and Jack the Ripper, judging by the screams and tears whenever we attempted to sit them on his knee for the obligatory photo.  Now, they are quiet and serious and in total awe.  Is this the last Christmas that they will believe?  I hope not.  Even though this year's Santa was wearing a coat and hat trimmed with pink fur (me thinks someone unintentionally boil washed his suit, making the colours run...such a novice mistake, don't you think?) and fake 'pleather' booties, they were totally convinced he was The Real Deal.  At the end of their little sojourn with Santa they both received a little bell on red ribbon, which both delighted and convinced them even more than ever.  Just the previous night we had read The Polar Express for the first time, so the bell had particular poignancy.  I couldn't have planned it better myself.

Of course, all this awe and reverence quickly faded once a carton of apple juice hit their stomachs and they ended the party by being accomplices in the smashing of a small, cracked window.  Nice.  A couple of hoodlums, I'm telling you.  I, quite frankly, didn't make much of a better impression by yelling "FUCK!" in a foyer full of joyful parents and children, when the heavy outer door handle swung with some force and hit me on the hip.  Really.  You can't take us anywhere.


  1. Thighs as reservoirs... Nice theory... Let me know if you ever get to prove it.

    Oh gosh, aren't goodbyes just the worst?

    When we left Scotland, I turned up at the boys' school 15 minutes early, just to have a bit of time to go into the classrooms and say goodbye to everyone. There was my oldest's teacher driving down the drive in the other direction, so we stopped and wound down our windows. She said she was just on her way to the Co-op to buy a couple of chocolate oranges for the boys as farewell gifts because no-one had had time to get round to it before then. It was one of those moments where I thought "I didn't need to know that".

    Good luck with the move, Nicola.

  2. I think children do take it all in their stride. My parents moved us briefly from Hong Kong back to England when I was 8- I loved my school and had lots of good friends but I remember being more excited about the move than sad to say goodbye (and we were back 9 months later, unexpectedly!) Very, very best of luck for the move.

    (PS Love the idea of you saying Fuck loudly. I said Shit at the busstop this morning in front of my neighbours' kids, because I'd forgotten something. Class.)

  3. Will miss you petal. Have a fab time getting re-aquainted with 'home' and keep in touch.

  4. I don't think children care as much. I didn't when we were moving about every couple of years.

    Good luck with the move! And do keep up the swearing in public! You will remember it is much appreciated back in Britain. :-)

  5. Good luck with the move.
    Merry Christmas and hope you have a brilliant year ahead