the long stretch of summer

do you remember summer and Christmas as a kid? When your legs start to stick to the school chair and your back feels damp in an un-airconditioned classroom with 30+ other bodies.
When the pace at school suddenly starts to slow, your teacher goes from being tired and cranky to cracking jokes and letting you watch videos.
When you spend more time in class making christmas decorations and eating so many candy canes you silently say a thanks that they only appear once a year.
When cherries are plentiful. And grapes. And mangoes. And stone fruit of every flavour.
When you have Christmas and what feels like an eternity ahead of you in what is otherwise is called h.o.l.i.d.a.y.s.

It was the last day of school today in New South Wales. Oscar seems pretty darn chuffed about it although when I pointed out he’d have a new teacher next year (but the same aide – who sent home a card for us today, thanking us for letting her work with our “magnificent, wonderful boy” – so I’ve said several quiet prayers of thanks for that one) he gave me a look of “oh you stupid woman, no I won’t”. He will, but we’ll cross that bridge oh, the day before he goes back, because the lack of ability to understand the concept of time is hard enough to live with without adding in a level of anxiety.

But Felix, the sensitive, competitive, always has to win, self-conscious little fella? Was a mess this morning before school because he was never going back after today (mwahahaha what a shuddering reality that’s going to be when he grasps the idea it’s for another, oh, t.e.n. years) and he was worried about how long the holidays were and what he was going to do all that time (geekgeekgeekgeekgeek). And tonight? Went to bed in tears because he’s going to miss his teacher, Mrs G, sooo much and never see her again. When I pointed out she would be in the playground he sobbed even louder, saying it wouldn’t be long enough at recess. I mean, can this kid break my heart any harder?

Anyway, Chef and I can’t ever remember being sad that summer holidays were here. Sure, when they were over, but at the beginning? Not so much.