Back to full parent mode now that school is out for a long summer

By david looby

An outdoor theatre production of Peter Pan thrilled at the weekend.
An outdoor theatre production of Peter Pan thrilled at the weekend.

THERE are times when all you can do is laugh at how little control you have over your life.

The Whirlwind Princess finished her first year of big school on Wednesday at noon and what a year it was. From ABCs, she has progressed to writing her name, doing addition and subtraction and outfoxing her Daddy with her razor sharp, steel trap memory.

'The world is so strange,' she declared in the car on Monday morning as I explained time zones to her. Blessed with a great imagination, like her Daddy, the lines between fact and fiction blurred as she composed her own reality, where night is day and everything is inverted.

Many landmark moments were achieved throughout the year, from walking her up the steps to her school, hand firmly clasped, to letting her cross along the traffic calming lines under the watchful gaze of the lollipop lady. A few times, on the school to creche run, she confided truths she barely deigned to utter, from class, like how she was caught picking her nose once, or how a boy had pulled up her skirt in the yard.

Like every parent, getting the children out of the house in the morning is the day's ultimate test and once this is achieved everything's a doddle.

My daughter and the Little Fella have reminded me this year about the importance of being organised and up early. After a rocky start I managed to achieve a better routine and everyone is benefiting.

My wife and I parted ways this past year and co-parenting has been a challenge, but I think we're doing a good job.

The last few days of June have thrown up a new challenge, summer with an almost six-year-old, so it should be the quickest summer of my life.

Last weekend alone we attended two festivals, the beach, a local park, a dance show, a restaurant complete with play areas, an outdoor theatre production of Peter Pan and a carnival.

The children got to spend time with their grandfather, while making some new friends.

Up next is a few weeks summer camp for my daughter, where more friends will be made. Oh, to have the time to be in stimulating environments with my peers.

There will be plenty of opportunities for further adventures over the summer months and for proper lunch breaks, without school to creche runs, dance class drop offs and swim classes.

Watching Peter Pan in a resplendent sun soaked garden on Sunday evening with my children, in a rare monent of bliss, the story took on a more sombre dimension, addressing time and how quickly it flies by.

There are times when we just muddle through life and other times when we enjoy every drop of it and last weekend was one of those.

The belly laughter of a child is something that brightens any day and with the sun shining there were plenty of sunny moments, hinting at further happinesses to come.

The stresses and strains of life fall away and life becomes as simple as a bucket and spade, sand, sea and ice cream.

There was a dark cloud on the horizon this week as my former colleagues in The Echo newspaper lost their jobs. To endure such a loss at any time must be incredibly difficult to contend with, but for it to be so sharp, so sudden, is something which will take time to fully get over and come to terms with, but support will not be found wanting.

Wexford People