Suddenly there is only 10 days left before my big girl is back in school. Oh, how I wish she had long private school holidays like I had. We’ve loved having the time together, the 7 of us. Holiday has really brought home how much I miss her in the house. Without her here every day, the dynamic is different indeed and everything with pregnancy and new baby has not quite allowed me to shift my focus so that our days are not waiting for her to come home. I need to do better than that. The others deserve more than that. It struck me when we were visiting Max’s brother the other day and discussing child swaps, how very close to grown up she is now. Christmas and East and half term holidays barely count, they are gone in a flash. 3, or at the most 4 summer holidays are left and she’ll be shipping off out of home. That’s less than 30 school-less weeks left where she’ll be home with us before she leaves home. That’s not many. Given she spent some days out of the house with friends this summer – and that will only increase – and her weekends are full of dancing and being busy, I suddenly realised she has almost left home. 30 weeks left with no school to enjoy her company and get to know thew adult she is becoming is not much. If she pantomimes again, goes away in the summer one year, leaves home straight after A Levels or any one of many things, it will be less. She’s nearly gone. She’s nearly grown up. Once she goes, the others will follow at speed; every two years another will fly the next.
Two things. Enjoy the days we have. Make more time for the others because the day and week count for them is only a little greater.
I love this. It’s my mantra for Autumn this year as I start a gentle plan of how to make better and more interesting for all of us. These last 2 years I am painfully aware that I’m one day closer to dying each day and I don’t make those days count enough.
The start of the summer also marked another big shift for us. Our lovely Rosemarie, who has taught Fran cello since she was 9 and all the girls music for nearly 3 years, moved away to a new part of the country. There were lots of tears, even if we are delighted she has better access to her family now. We are going to miss her friendship so much; she guided all the girls to musicality, such as any of them want and has been a constant and loving presence in our home through thick and thin for so long. It’s going to be hard enough to replace her teaching, her flexibility, her care and concern but replacing her friendship, her family like love – I don’t know if we can. We’re taking a short break from music lessons while I find and set up someone new but I need to sort out the right person. I’d be devastated if they lost their love of music.
In related news, Maddy scored a whopping 132 (Distinction) in her Grade 1 Classical Guitar. She had less than 6 weeks to prepare for it and I think she is a blooming marvel
The other big thing was a week Amelie spent with Acorn International Summer Camp. It’s not an opportunity that would ever normally be available to her, the cost of giving 4 girls a treat of that sort being prohibitive but she got lucky 3 of her home ed brothers and sisters also went and she had a total and utter ball. They had days out, amazing food (with their own pastry chef!) and LESSONS every morning. She adored dormitories and swimming and playing out and the resident baby and… omg… we have heard “When I was at Acorn International…” all summer
She’s in this video. Normally pulling dreadful faces!
And once that was over… off we went to Dartmoor. We tried to ignore the fact that the drive down mostly looked like this….