“Have you had a good summer?” That’s something people tend to ask around this time of year and for the past 20 years I have scowled in response.
“They don’t ask ‘Have you had a good autumn?’ Or ‘Have you had a good spring?'” I would mutter as I sat at my desk working all through July and August. “What is this ‘summer’ thing?”
But that was before I had a little boy. That was before early September brought the ritual of ironing name-tapes into sweat-shirts and getting feet measured for Jack Nano shoes.
This week, as I get the grey trousers down from the loft and hunt in the back of the cupboard for Tupperware, I am amazed that despite working for four of the past six weeks, they have felt relaxed simply because days haven’t been truncated by 8.55am and 3.30pm deadlines.
Oh the things we have done!
Oh the things we have done! We’ve been to Barbados, been to cricket school, been to three festivals and to the Paralympic Games.
We’ve made bread, made birds of paradise, made new friends and made-up songs, stories and and jokes (don’t ask).
We’ve paddled in pools, swam in a river and bobbed in the waves of the Caribbean Sea.
We’ve travelled by plane, by tube, by train, by bike, by taxi, by bus and by campervan singing along to Supertramp at the top of our voices.
We’ve laughed, we’ve danced, we’ve sung, we’ve cheered, we’ve Mexican-waved – and we’ve got very, very muddy.
Six glorious weeks
They have been six glorious weeks in which we’ve stretched and flexed and doodled and meandered, got lost and re-united, discovered and re-discovered.
Arch and I have called it “adventuring”. “Where shall we adventure to today?” we would say as we set off on another school-free day.
Another name for it is “summer.” I get it now.
And there was me thinking I was giving it to Arch. In fact he was giving it to me.