gail schimmel

The blog of writer Gail Schimmel: A bit of writing, a bit of parenting, a bit of thinking and some book reviews

The school countdown

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All over Gauteng – and probably all over the country – parents are counting down the days until school starts again. In my case, it’s Wednesday. Wonderful, glorious, can’t get here fast enough Wednesday.

Because my kids have been on holiday from the beginning of December, and give or take a few shopping trips and a bit of work, I’ve been with them 24/7 ever since. (And when I say 24/7. I mean it. They still climb into bed with me.) And I’m going to say what most primary parents are thinking but won’t say: I have had enough of my children. I’m done. I’m over it. Their teachers can have them. They can have the whining and the demanding and the “I’m boreds” and the sulking. They can have the grumpy faces and they can even have the cheerful faces.

with kids 2.jpg

But therein lies the great trick parenting plays on us. Because we all know that at 11.30 on Wednesday morning I am going to be champing at the bit to fetch them from school, desperate to have them back in my arms, missing them after only a few hours, and wondering why I didn’t appreciate the holiday more.

The best thing that has ever happened to me is being a parent, but actually having to do it is pretty crap. Their childhoods seem to fly by in a blink, and I want to freeze time and keep them small and with me forever – but on the other hand, sometimes the hour from 5pm to 6pm can take so long that several eons have passed and empires have risen and fallen.

Parenting is the greatest conundrum, the best and the worst of everything. I’d spend more time thinking about it and sharing profound thoughts. . . but right now, I’m too busy counting down the minutes to 8am on Wednesday.



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