My eldest is in his Reception year at school. I only get to do school drop off for two days each school week because I do long hours during my three work days. I would love to drop off everyday but I am very grateful that I at least get to do two each week. Yesterday started like any normal day, the early rise as usual. Me thinking I have hours to get ready (when in fact we do have about 3.5 hours (so why is there ALWAYS, I repeat ALWAYS) a last-minute dash to beat the bell at school? Does this just happen to me?
So after the 3 hour-long battle to get both boys, washed, dressed, fed and ready we were dashing off to school once again to beat the bell. We got there just in time for final goodbyes, a kiss, a quick hug and a little wave. Me stood with Flixster waving the boy off, watching him to the last-minute until he goes through the door and turns left into the cloakroom out of sight. It was then that it hit me.
Like I walked into a solid brick wall.
That was it, that moment, he only has a week left in reception. He is finishing reception, how did this happen? Why was I so sad?
Another milestone, another glaringly obvious reminder that time never stops.
It only seems like two minutes since I was dropping him off for his taster sessions with a tear in my eye. I was sad back then because he was growing up, school were stealing my baby away. I didn’t know when I dropped him off back then that he’d end the school year in a different school. Due to our house move and the opportunity to move schools he only spent one term at his original school and the other two terms at a different one. He has settled in so well at his new school, he still talks about the old one quite a bit but knows his new one is here to stay. I know I should feel happy but I didn’t. In that very moment I just wanted to hug him and cry quietly and not let go…ever. I felt even worse letting him go because I’d only just told him off for stamping on my foot and marking my new shoes, it seems so trivial, I should have just let it go and spent longer hugging him instead.
I’m not sure I like being reminded of time passing, I’m sure everyone feels the same. Some times I need the world to stop moving so I can take an extra few moments to appreciate it.
I need the boys to make sure they know I love them, I need to bottle their little smell, frame their tiny little hands and the trusting look they give you when they need reassurance. I need to appreciate every single moment in time.
Last weekend we packed up the car with all the paraphernalia you need for a day out with small people and headed to our local ‘Pumpkin Patch’. We’ve never been before. My beautiful American friend Jenny from Let’s Talk Mommy has a yearly tradition with her children and when she was young of picking pumpkins. I guess over here in England its never been that popular before. When I was young pumpkins were of course available in the shop to carve and I remember buying one sometimes to carve. There was one year that my dad carved the pumpkin and my mum made a pumpkin pie…it was awful! I have since found out that pumpkin pie is in fact a delicious dish so I have no idea what my mum did that year!
Before we had children I used to dread halloween, I hated being disturbed by trick or treaters so we’d always just go out instead to avoid it all! However once again children have changed me and I now look forward to the night. I love putting up the decorations and getting ready for all the little ones who come to our door to trick or treat. So this year I wanted to start a new tradition for our family and head out to the pumpkin patch. It was also a fab chance to get some snaps of the children. We have an SLR camera which I have mentioned before but we don’t use it half as much as we should so I jumped at the chance to take it with us a practise my skills (of which I have very little!).
I love this shot of the boys going through the Maize Maze together, I try to get the boy to hold Flixsters hand more often now when they are walking, I especially love how Flixsters pointing at something in this shot.
We loved spending time looking at the pumpkins growing in the field. Flixster mainly just loved the mud, touching the mud on the pumpkins and walking in the most mud possible. But he is only 18 months old!
The sun was shining and he was enjoying himself!
There were quite a few rotting pumpkins which the boy loved, being a boy anything gory seems to fascinate him.
I really loved the visit, being outdoors with the boys, running around, taking photos, looking at all the pumpkins. I think it’s something I’d really like to do every October to kick off our halloween celebrations. A new tradition in our house has started.
As the festive season is upon us I wanted to tell you what Christmas was like when I was a child. I know it’s probably hard to imagine mummy as a child herself but it doesn’t seem very long ago to me at all. Once you are all grown up yourselves you will realise why I say that. Christmas as a child was magical and it still is up to this day but the magic is now seen through your eyes. My mum had a tradition of not putting up the decorations until a week before Christmas and we weren’t allowed to put up the tree until Christmas eve itself. I understand now why she did it as she didn’t want us getting over excited I guess but at the time I never understood. All my friends had their trees up and we weren’t allowed until the day before. It did I suppose make putting the tree up all together a very exciting time. As a child we always had an artificial tree, in fact I’m pretty sure we had the same tree throughout my childhood, I remember us getting a new one when I was in my early teens. I loved the smell of an artificial tree. As daft as that sounds they always have a certain smell and to me that was the smell of Christmas. Year after year we used to get out the same decorations and I loved them. They all felt familiar, felt like Christmas had arrived. It made my heart leap with excitement.
On Christmas eve one year mum surprised us with duvets, I must have only been about 5 or 6 at the time but up until then we had traditional blankets on the bed, I remember having to pull them up, we’d have a sheet and them maybe two or so heavy blankets. But that particular year we went up to bed on Christmas eve and Mum had bought us both a duvet and duvet cover. Seems daft ow something so simple but I remember it so clearly.
We’d always leave out a mince-pie, a glass of milk and a carrot near the tree for Father Christmas and his reindeer, alongside our neatly folded pillow case then head on up to bed. I never tried to stay up late to see Father Christmas but I do remember the sleepless nights, I’d toss and turn all night waking up every so often to see if it was morning time. That night always felt so magical, like there was glitter in the air. There were never present put under the tree until that magical night. I’d sometimes get up to look out of the window to see if I could see the big man himself flying through the air. In my childhood there was no internet so we couldn’t track his journey like we do today!
Each Christmas morning Father Christmas would leave a stocking on mine and your Uncle’s door handle, which would have small wrapped gifts inside. We still have the same stockings today from mum (your grandma) There was always some smells and without a doubt I’d get marshmallows as well. Often there would be some chocolate which would have been eaten by breakfast time! So we’d get our stockings and head to Mum and Dad’s bedroom and sit with Mum (dad would hide under the pillow snoozing!) and open the stockings. Once that was done we’d have to get dressed before we were allowed to go downstairs. That rule used to frustrate me as it seemed to stall the proceedings but obviously that was the quickest we’d get dressed all year! Once we were dressed we’d head downstairs to see if he’d been. We were very lucky children as he’d always make a stop off at our house. I remember marvelling at the half eaten carrot and crumbs of mince-pie and the empty glass of milk. It felt very exciting to me that the big man himself had taken the time to eat the goodies we had left him, I could never quite believe he’d come into our house. I remember loving the sight of a pillow case full of presents just for me, I still do!
Your Uncle was always a fast present opener, he’d be tearing at the paper on gift number 3 whilst I was still carefully removing sellotape from the first present. I really like to take my time. We were allowed to open our present all morning long while mum popped in and out of the kitchen to cook the dinner. When we were much smaller we would go to church on Christmas morning with my Grandma, I remember coming back from church one year to a big box, it was my pram. I loved that pram, it was a miniature silver cross coach build one. I wonder what happened to it, I’ll have to ask my mum about that. I’d love to get you a pram boys but you’ve never been interested in playing with dolls, I wouldn’t hesitate if you did ask for one though! As we got a little older and Grandma wasn’t as mobile we used to stop by her house for a while instead of her coming to us.
Christmas dinner was usually served in the middle of the afternoon and was turkey with all the trimmings. There was always pigs in blankets or sausages, all the veggies, roast potatoes, gravy, bread sauce, apple & cranberry sauce. The table would be heaving. We’d have crackers and wear the hats – although my head is massive so the hat always tore (I’m afraid you may have inherited this from me – I wonder if they make big head crackers these days?!) After dinner we were allowed to have the special tree presents, these were always hidden in the tree. Usually just a small gift, some socks, or a magazine etc. I don’t know where this tradition came from but it was something our family did and still do today. Some years we’d watch the Queens speech but not always, in the evenings as if we hadn’t eaten enough already mum would always do a buffet with cheeses and party nibbles. I looked forward to this every year. Dad would always moan that it was over the top and unnecessary but being a bit like Victor Meldrew we’d come to expect it. We’d carry on enjoying ourselves as we always did. By the time that was over it was time to collapse in a heap and go off to bed, sad that Christmas day was over but thankful for a lovely family day together.
As a young child I thought all people’s Christmas days were the same. It was only as I got older that I realised everyone had their own traditions and some people of course didn’t celebrate Christmas at all. I however looking back am thankful for the effort my mum must have put into our Christmas each year. All the unseen things I now realise she must have done for us. I remember Christmas as a child fondly, I wish I could go back and be invisible just like Scrooge does and watch on silently in the corner. There are a few back and white video clips of Christmas day when I was very young but nothing like we have today. I hope that when you are all grown up boys that you look back and remember magical Christmas’s in our house. I hope that you look back and remember the love most of all. The love we have for you and each other at this special time of year.
Please always remember I love you unconditionally ….forever.
Love Mummy x
P.S Don’t grown up to quickly and always, ALWAYS believe!
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