Oh I used to get upset about them going back to school, I did, I did. And of course I've still got their first little pair of shorts and the elasticated tie that they chewed at the end and accidentally dipped in their gravy.
I still take a doorstep photo of them looking all smart and shiny every first day of term. Here's this year's offering as they embark upon years 8 and 4 at Hipperholme Grammar School.
But these days there are none of the tears. Today, for example, was a 100% happy event. They were ready, I was ready, the dog was ready. (She has NOT enjoyed this disruption to her morning walk routine one little bit).
The boys were excited to wear their new shoes, keen to see their mates and - though loathed to admit it - I know they were secretly looking forward to using their sharp new pencils in their brand new books. There didn't seem to be the usual thumped-in-the-gut feeling today for any of us and I think I know why.
Today, with the house eerliy quiet (I can even hear the clock ticking) I could, if I tried really hard, miss the shrieking, the squabbling and definitely the laughter. But then I remember how my fridge has held on to its contents all day long and will still be fully stocked by home time. I realise that I'm not stealing 5 minutes to make that phone call or send that e-mail, I can do it In My Own Time. I enjoy depositing rubbish in the kitchen bin without discovering I can't because it is already rammed full of GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT - and then I do know what, because there it all is, all over my kitchen floor, after the flimsy bag has burst.
But most of all, I enjoy knowing that after 7 or so weeks of disruption, the jobs I start, actually have an outside chance of getting finished. Here's what's on my to-do list and getting me all excited for the new school term:
1) Hallway goals
The clean up campaign commences. Shoe bank here I come with a box load of stinking old football boots and trainers, sandy flip-flops and past-their-best Converse. For the surviving family footwear I have the following storage solution in mind:
My house has been baron of flowers for 7 long weeks. I'm not exactly sure why - concern for their welfare in a house full of boys? Trolley already overloaded with snack food and fizzy drinks? Not even the time to plonk them in a vase? Who knows, but I am treating myself and my home to some New Term Flowers as a thank you for putting up with us and our clutter all summer long.
It's my nemesis. I am completely incompetent in the admin department and the holidays have not helped. Anyway, I found a bright pink, 2 drawer lockable filing cabinet in Staples and it just might be enough to give me a hint of the Miss Moneypenny's.
4) Wardrobe workout
If holidays teach me anything it is that I really need to sort out my closet. The stuff that comes outta that suitcase is alarming. It gets packed, flown to a foreign country, unpacked, rejected and returns home unworn and just a little bit travel sick. I wear about one third of the clothes I own and have got to learn to let go.
I'm not doing that mad Marie Kondo decluttering thing however, all that folding sounds tiresome. Instead I am turning to the How to be Parisian method of wardrobe editing and banning everything on page 8. It makes perfect sense and is sure to result in me looking a lot more, well, French I suppose. Unfortunately you need to read the book for details as it would take far too much effort for me to repeat it all here, which (as you will discover) is not very Parisian at all.
So what's on your back to school to-do list? Are you feeling motivated or just counting down the minutes until you can get those little cherubs back home? Either way I've been there and bought the commemorative class t-shirt, so I can promise you've got a friend in me.
Happy New Term all,