I’ve got a severe case of end-of-term-itis. In a good way. The holidays are here. The sun is shining. Spring has sprung. Things are looking up.
Why am I feeling so chipper? Well, I’ve just had a long weekend which included plenty of sunshine, trips to the park and a screening of Rio 2. Just for a bit of life-life balance, we’ve now got a couple of days sans enfants as my wife and I work (and capitalise on the chance for a babysitter-free evening out!) while the kids spend some quality grandparent time with the in-laws.
But I could look at recent events differently. In many ways, much of the past few weeks and months have included the hardest challenges I’ve faced for some time. At times I’ve felt quite low, resulting in tweets like this:
— Olly Du Croz (@ollydc) March 24, 2014
I’ve chosen the tweet above because – however exhausting, challenging and impossible parenting can seem at times – my children also have a great capacity to restore me to myself. All they have to do is give a simple smile, a hug, or demonstrate the ability to lose themselves in fits of hilarity – all of which can quickly draw me back into a more hopeful world, allow me to throw off the other worries and stresses of life, and bring me joy.
Amazing, aren’t they?
Last Friday was a case in point. School pick-up on the last afternoon of term is always a celebratory time, but we’re lucky enough to have two children who adore school (of course helped by spending time with their friends). I’m not expecting it to continue forever, but aged 7 and 4 I’m just revelling in the moment. The most striking sign of this is that it’s almost impossible to get my son to come home at the end of the school day. The classroom door is his gateway to the playground and, given the choice, all he wants to do it race around with his friends until darkness falls (with occasional breaks for food). And not much beats seeing him at his happiest with the friends he loves.
You see, just like my son in the playground, today I’m choosing to seize the day and celebrate life with unbridled optimism. Long may it continue.