18 Sep 2014

The Day Before the First Day of School

The autumn sun has been kind to us up in the North West. With temperatures soaring to 20 degrees and not a cloud in the sky, it would have been a shame to stay indoors. My 3 year old was getting rather restless in the heat. Although I had a list of chores that needed finishing, I was in no mood to contend with a pre-schooler who was in the mood for a picnic.

So we struck a deal. We first finish the supermarket shopping and then pack a picnic and head out to a lovely little place in the Cheshire countryside called Red House Farm. We had been there last summer, but it had slipped off the radar this year.


That is exactly what we did. Armed with sandwiches, crisps, apples and juice, we drove along winding country roads with the car windows rolled down and the breeze whooshing in our ears. So much, that after a few minutes, J wanted his window rolled back up again.

As I pulled into the gravelled parking lot outside Red House Farm, my son reprimanded me from his car seat for, "driving so fast and bumpy through mountains and holes!" And to think I followed the sat-nav to the T, well almost, and got us there without missing a single turning.

Sunscreen lathered, hat on, and J was off to explore all that the Red House Farm has to offer. I parked our picnic and my behind on one of the many picnic benches dotted around the children's play area. Near enough to keep an eye on my son. Far enough to afford him the freedom every three year old desires. At least till they need their mothers to help with something like pushing them on the swings.


As I sat there in the warm autumn sunshine watching my soon-to-be-schoolboy son, I couldn't help thinking, not without a tinge of regret, that this was, in reality, our last carefree day together. For tomorrow, my little big boy will be taking his first unsteady footsteps in the big world of formal education.

Gone will be these spur-of-the-moment picnics. And afternoons spent driving each other insane.

That is when I realised that all those difficult moments when I was exasperated and on the verge of losing my mind, those moments were precious in their own way. Those moments will have to wait for school holidays now. With school-runs and routines filling up the time in between.

Those moments were a privilege of being a stay-at-home mother, of having my son running circles around me almost every hour of every day. Goodness knows I have craved some me-time and a relaxing cup of hot tea. But that does not seem to matter any more, now that I know I will have it. Every day. Day after day. Till the weekend creeps up upon us, and my son and I can enjoy a taste of that carefree freedom once again.

I looked up from my musings to see my son blowing sand in the wind. It was sticking to his face, there was some in his mouth. He turned and ran to me, tongue sticking out like a panting dog. Before I could pull out a wet wipe, he had wiped it all on the fringe of my top. I could not help but smile.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

22 comments:

  1. Ah, you're right, it does all go too quickly. But each stage brings new fun with it :)

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  2. Beautiful imagery, thank you - they are such precious times... hope he does well at school

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  3. I am afraid you are right and it really does go too quickly. My daughter is applying to Uni now and yet I can still remember the days of picnics and freedom. Make the most of every minute xx

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  4. School certainly does make you appreciate the time you spend together - even those exasperating moments!

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  5. Goes way too fast my daughter started the other week crazy.

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  6. It certainly does go quickly! Hope he is doing well in school!

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  7. What a fun day. The time when they're little really does zoom on by doesn't it.

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  8. You're moving on to even more fun with everything that school brings x

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  9. What a lovely post - it does indeed go far too quickly. I simply cannot believe that my first born is nearly 17...

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  10. My son started school nursery last week. He only does mornings but because we have to go back in the afternoon to pick up my daughter we don't have time to go anywhere in the afternoon. It seems strange that this time next year he will be gone all day at school.

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  11. That looks like a really fun place to visit x

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  12. We went out for a special lunch on our last day, nice to celebrate it with one last treat!

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  13. It does go so fast, doesn't it?? Lovely post. Every moment should be treasured at every stage.

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  14. It is really hard! When I wrote my book about starting school, this was one thing which came up so many times, with so many different parents. But they also develop and grow and learn more thing and become ever more special. Hope it is going well!

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  15. Lovely post! As my Mum used to say when it was the last day before school - "Last days of freedom and wilderness" :)

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  16. Oh it goes much too fast...I have been through it twice and am dreading it even more with my last!!

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  17. The long summer days have been perfect for getting out and about. I love our deal you struck and it looks like a great place to visit, definitely worth a bit of shopping first for a picnic and a lovely afternoon of play. I hope the new school term is going well. thankyou for sharing your fun on country Kids.

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  18. Awww bittersweet! Love the words on this. Sometimes I gave in too after school when the sun is still out. I just want to make the most out of whats left of summer. =) #countrykids

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  19. Such a sweet tale - I love the late summer/early autumn months - crisp in the mornings but still sunny enough for a picnic or two!

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  20. Hope you've both settled into your new 'normal'

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  21. I am loving that the warmer weather seems to be here to stay for a bit longer. Hoping to squeeze some extra outdoor fun in whilst it lasts

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