I’ve been feeling rather wistful today, thinking of the days when the children were small. What started me off was listening to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Four Thought’ yesterday evening about a couple who sold their house, gave up their teaching jobs and went to live in a caravan with their two young daughters. Their aim was to do what’s most important in life – to spend proper time together. They’d felt that their lives had become completely unbalanced. (If you’d like to listen to it, it’s here.) It’s something I wish we’d been brave enough to do when the children were small. They’re too old now. I don’t think they would countenance being whisked out of school and away from their friends. And, anyway, the boys wouldn’t fit on caravan beds.
I know everyone tells you – when you’re in the thick of small children with toilet training, broken nights, toddler tantrums – to try to enjoy it, that it goes so quickly. But it DOES. I’d so love to pop back for a while to soak it all in again – the cuddles, the sitting on your lap while you read a book together, the small hands in mine – which is ridiculous and self-indulgent (and a bit greedy)! What I should be doing is enjoying them Right Now because they’re still wonderful and they still need us, just in different ways. And much sooner than we’re prepared for they will leave home.
My eldest came into the kitchen as I was cooking dinner the other day, ‘I’ve had a really productive hour, mum’, he announced. ‘I’ve sorted out my rucksack, tidied my art folder and had a power nap!’ Ah, 15-year-old boys. Aren’t they great?!