There are three points that punctuate the life of a stay-at-home parent of school-aged children, as far as I’m concerned:
- The beginning of a school year
- The end of the first term just before the Christmas break
- The end of the second term just before summer vacation
We are currently smack-deep in the second point – the end of the first term leading up to winter break, aka Christmas vacation. And just like the other two points, there is a general feeling of ‘can’t wait for it to get here’.
Although it took us a while to get the routine of back-to-school right (particularly because we had a teacher labour dispute going on as well), the fact that we’re ending the first term is good timing, if you ask me. Three full months of the same thing every day plus hockey and activities can wear you out just a little. Then there was the time change, and darkness descending upon us at 4:30 in the afternoon…it’s a lot to adjust to.
Add to this the very non-Canadian weather we’ve been having and I can attest that everything is a little out of the ordinary. But, I do have to say, no matter how much I appreciate the comfortable temperatures, there’s a certain lack of Christmassy-type feelings. My 8yo in particular really misses snow.
Snow is part of Christmas, or so the TV movies will have you know.
So we did what any self-respecting family with crafty kids does in the absence of snow: we make our own snowflakes.
But….I am tired. I’m looking forward to a break.
The routine is out of whack. The lunch-making thing is even more cumbersome than usual, and I’m running out of ideas. At home there’s a live tree in the living room needing attention, and more clutter than usual around. There is no school work or homework to speak of which is both a good thing and a bad thing (see routine outa whack). And at least one child would prefer the lifestyle of Elf (from the movie) in terms of diet – cookies, candies, sprinkles and chocolate are currently her preferred meal choices.
We’re due a break. I look forward to the holiday break because I don’t have to get up the moment the buzzer goes, because the kids are old enough to grab something to eat on their own now. So what if they want to watch four hours of cartoons….that’s part of it. Go right ahead, I say while pouring my second cup of joe.
But there are a couple more days of school to get through. While the kids are at school attending and performing in assemblies, I bake cookies. I cook meals. I water the Xmas tree. I sweep up or vacuum pine needles and I wrap presents. I watch endless TV to keep myself occupied, and prefer the cheesy, feel-good Christmas time movies to the harsh realities of the news. (There’s a time and place to read or watch the news, but during the day while puttering around is not the time, for me.)
I’m looking forward to a the break. And this year, there is an actual, real break from hockey as well. No tournament, no running around, no practices.
A real break.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go bake something. Again.