They’re not leaving, they’re gettin’ educated


Here we are. The end of the school holidays, the end of lying in until 9.30, the end of cruise-mode and the beginning of pushing my sons around. Where are shoes? Have you done your teeth? What about your homework? I call it, THE GRIND.

I love being a mother, I do. I didn’t think I’d like it this much – I probably didn’t think about in terms of like or not like, it was just something you did. I love being a mum but I hate THE GRIND.

School holidays are an opportunity for us all to relate to each other as the great people we are and not as people who have something outstanding.

Maybe it was PMT, maybe it was no new words on the next novel (I don’t like the ring that alliteration has), maybe it was a case of headache brought on by too much chocolate, but over the last weeks of the holidays I began to grieve my boys going back to school.


I got tied up in lunch boxes, and due dates, excursion slips gone missing, and me doing my usual chasing, chasing, chasing my tail. I could hear myself, was that today?! I became preemptively exhausted and I hadn’t Glad-wrapped a biscuit!

The thing about tail-chasing is that while you’re occupied with all your looking backward you can miss the good stuff ahead of you. After a little while I could see the holidays slipping away.

But, you know exhausted old dogs can learn a thing or two, and I did a little bit of talking myself down. Aloud, stern, direct, I said this.

The boys are not dying, Nicki. They are going to school.

The boys will be back to drive me mental/fill my life with joy at 3.30.

And stop calling it THE GRIND, it’s your life. 

Three days ago I dropped my sons back at school. New books, new classrooms, new teachers but all with the same old feel. My sons weren’t greeted with any fanfare, it was a simple, hello, hang your bag on your hook and sit down. They gave me a wave and were gone. Easy as that.

On the way back to my car I marvelled at the power of self-talk, negative or positive, and the power of being a little more real. And I didn’t cry like I thought I might. Why would I? Fishing around in my bag for my keys I found a pair of 3D glasses. Yay! ‘Life of Pi’ for me, the washing could wait.

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