The soil in the wood is dry and we move around to the percussion of desiccated bluebell seeds rattling in their pods or scattering down over crisp leaf litter. It is definitely summer now. I’ve attended parents evenings, sports days, recorder concerts, and school plays. Reports have come home, the eight week summer timetable has been drawn (but not filled in), teacher’s presents have been made and the children are so excited, they can’t sleep. It’s been a good school year all in all. Peta has settled incredibly well into her new school, Melody has become more comfortable and confident in herself, Amos has adapted to full time classes and Joe too is making progress.
We don’t have much planned over the summer holidays – unusual for us. Everyone in this family has put so much effort into the last ten months; we all need this break, but I am not sure what we need this break to be. I think the wood will feature heavily – Melody is desperate to camp up there again, Peta really wants to master the slack line, Amos wants to play hide and seek in the dark (?!) and even Joe has requested we stay in the wood and invite people up. It’s strange how much the wood has become part of our lives. Three years ago we didn’t even know it existed and now I can’t imagine how we managed without it. I guess the family was three years younger then, but still, how did we cope without that space, that place to breathe?
We do have other plans – a visit to a Viking festival, a trip to a lake, an outing to a cheese factory, the Reading Agencies Summer Reading Challenge, (not, fortunately, that any of my children need an excuse to stick their head in a book). I am looking forward to having everyone home – just the freedom to let the little ones have a lie in if they need one, change plans if it is raining, give the children the space to do things we can’t do normally because of constraints of time or routine.
Above all else, I hope the summer holidays will be memorable in good ways. It would be lovely if we could all enjoy the break we need so we can start the next school year with the energy we need to pull it off. Joe will be a day boy, Amos moves up out of the starter class and Melody into the top class at primary, Peta will be setted in classes for the first time and I have to start term with a major meeting about Joe’s transition to A-level/BTEC – we will all face challenges, but hopefully positive ones.
The wood is shady, the dells quiet and expectant. As I walk through the trees I hear the wind rustle in the leaves above, I hear whispers of adventure, stories of campfires and games, notes of laughter. I hear the sounds of summer.