With 2 of our kids in school I often wonder (whilst at home with Alice) what they are both getting up to, or how they are and what their little routines are. I wonder what school is like for them and if they are having a good day. I put my hands up and say that I do miss my kids most of the time they’re away from home, and wish we could hang out far more than we do in term time… days are so busy and we don’t often get time to sit and talk and catch up.

Of course I can usually battle to get snippets from them about their day and friends, over dinner or on the way home, but hearing about it and seeing it for myself just aren’t quite the same. So when we moved here, we were all excited to discover that parents were allowed to go in to school and sit and have lunch with their kids if they wanted to (or take them out for a picnic at the front), and whilst I am sure we all have tales to tell when we hear the words “School Dinners”, I couldn’t wait to go in!

For my kids anything around food is the highlight of their day and whenever I ask about how their day was, its always what they had for dinner that comes up first. We play a little guessing game of what was on the menu and what they chose (even though I usually already know) and this is followed up by them asking when I will be coming in for dinner!

To be honest I had half forgotten up until a couple of weeks ago, and when I did remember I thought that I would need someone to watch Alice for me. The truth was that I didn’t at all and they welcomed us both last Thursday for School dinners with the kids and it was a lovely moment in our week!

It was the cutest thing to see them lined up with their little trays, and how good they were at getting their cutlery. They had excellent manners and I loved that the dinner ladies knew exactly what Ethan prefers and how happy he was to get peaches instead of a pudding! I loved how kind the dinner ladies were to Alice and I, helping me to get our food and pouring our water. And I loved how Megan was trying to be so sensible but wiggled in her own little way as dinner was put onto her tray!

We all grabbed our dumplings and stewed beef with veg (and shortbread with custard) and sat down on the little chairs at the little tables! We instantly had friends battling to sit with us and it was so much fun sat chatting in school with all of them about their morning and about what they were looking forward to in the coming afternoon. I pretended to be mischievous and the kids were laughing their heads off – “You can’t do that at school”! And overlooked by a couple of teachers we snapped back into best behaviour!

Alice chucked food around whilst we all gobbled up the (mostly) lovely lunch before having hugs and saying goodbye til home time!

School dinners aren’t anything amazing but it was one of my favourite lunches because of where I was and who I was sharing it with. I think they have come on a bit since we were there, and the shortbread and custard was a tasty bonus, but this moment of being sat together at their school enjoying lunch was just brilliant.

I love the ordinary moments of motherhood where we get to have a glimpse into their independent little lives and share special moments in our days that are just a little bit out of our ordinary routines! I loved seeing them in their school setting and sharing lunch together. I loved the day we went for School dinners and I look forward to our next lunch date!

The Ordinary Moments
Follow:

Last week (like many of you I’m sure) my social media was flooded with back to school pictures of friends, family and fellow bloggers kids, all kitted out in new uniforms and excited for the new school year. It has come around so quickly and I am honestly really sad to see Ethan and Megan returning to school after what has been an incredibly fun and adventurous 6 week Summer holiday!

I am really proud of how quickly we have all fallen back into the school run schedule, and how much they love being in their new classes and seeing all of their friends again! They were super excited to get back to it, and I smiled as I peered in on them before we went to bed last Monday night, and caught a glimpse of their new little uniforms all laid out with precision – Megan’s on the end of her bed, Ethan’s on his desk. Their little shoes, a size bigger, were sat by the door all shiny and ready for them to trash… their PE bags repacked, and book bags sat waiting to be filled with all manner of tat they choose to bring home!

I cannot believe they are now in year 1 and 2. I cannot believe that those busy days of having them at home and going to toddler groups are so far gone now and they are well and truly in the flow of school life, our family a new seasaon. Life is filled reading books, playground antics, school dinners, PE, assemblies and sports days (to name a few). They have mastered the playground, their teachers names, and they have their crew! They are so happy, and I am glad for that, but it really is a stark reminder at the start of a new school year, just how fast they are growing up, and just how fast time is flying by.

This time of year is always a struggle for me too, and not one I always wear on my face. It is just my new normal and a time of deep reflection. It’s a time of year that thrusts me into a moment where like you, having had my kids with me daily, it’s all suddenly gone. It brings a quiet house and moments where I suddenly realise they’re into a new school year, a few inches taller, a few months older, a little more independent. All of that is okay, its weird and a little emotional, but its okay. Its all of that combined with it also always being a week or so before we pass through the anniversaries of loosing Poppy, that means that September has now become a huge reminder of days that will never come for us with her.

Back to school is exciting, but its the marker to countdown to her anniversaries and remember what we will never have.

We will never get to see her starting Nursery next term, or buying her uniform and new black shiny shoes. We won’t see her running up the road excited to see her friends after the summer, or nervous that her new teacher might not like her. We won’t ever know if she will love school dinners or get to post the pictures of her celebrating the start of a new school year with her siblings all over social media.

No one will ever know that their child might be missing out on another friend and class mate, the teacher one less pupil to teach that year, but with each school we will. So, whilst I am pleased with how smooth these last couple of days have been, and how excited Ethan and Megan are for school again. Whilst I love to see them excited for school and get excited to hear of what they have been doing too.  I am always a little sad for our little flower missing from the action, the pictures and new adventures of going back to school!

This Year Megan still wants to be a vet, and Ethan a Teacher (“NOT the assistant – the actual teacher”). I hope your kids are enjoying their new years, classes and friends!

 

The Ordinary Moments
Follow:

A few weeks ago Megan came home from school excited to tell me about a concert they were practising for at their new school which we now know to be called “little big sing”. It took her a while to give the deets, and to be honest initially I wasn’t 100% sure whether she has misunderstood something or made it up (which happens a lot in Megan’s world). Over a day or so we mostly understood, and Ethan confirmed they were indeed practising a number of pieces for a concert of some description!

We became even more excited when they said they would be singing at the Bridlington Spa (hello theatre performance!) and yesterday my mum and I had the pleasure of going along to see them.

It wasn’t anything like what we had thought … all of us were expecting to see their school on stage singing and dancing, and they too thought that’s what they were doing. In actual fact there was a live band and music director on stage leading about 10 different schools (made up of key stage 1) in a “big sing” of songs they had all independently being learning. It was so random and funny!

We sat on the balcony and cheered and laughed whilst the little voices rose up sounding absolutely gorgeous. We watched them wiggle, twirl, clap and beam. We tapped our toes and waved along, and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of music and positivity.

For the last couple of weeks we have thoroughly enjoyed being serenaded with duets from Ethan and Megan at home and out and about at train stations and parks – It has been great. I love to hear my kids sing and see them dancing, and I love to have music in our lives and let go together. I love the ordinary moments of feeling joy and free, unified by musical beats!

Little big sing wasn’t at all what I expected, but it was a breath of fresh air from everyday life to be in a hall with live musicians and the joyful spirits of kids filling the air. What a wonderful way to spend a Monday afternoon. Roll on next year and let’s make this a tradition and ordinary moment of Summer!

The Ordinary Moments
Follow:

One of my favourite things about where we lived in Leeds was certainly the lovely school the kids attended. It was small, religious, filled with lovely families and just a short walk from our house and the park. We all fitted in well, had lovely friends and whilst the new school looked good on paper, you never really know.

This week saw a big ordinary moment associated with moving house – Starting a new school and for the first time in my life as a school mum we have done school runs on the bus and train!

On Monday morning we were all super excited to get into our new flow of life whilst living at Grandma’s, and caught the bus opposite her house up to the school (15 mins away) to our soon to be new village. We had a lovely tour and met their classes and teachers, and everyone was just so lovely. They wear daffodil yellow and bright blue, instead of the purple we were used to, and things are done a little differently too. But they have so many great things for the kids to do, and whilst unknown to us we were delighted immediately and left feeling very excited to start the day after!

Living away from the school for the time being, it has of course meant that we can’t just pop our shoes on and leg it round the corner in a mad dash like our usual school days have been, arriving in the final second. We rely on public transport or family for the moment, and so I have been way more organised on a school morning than I ever have been!

We have gone by bus (which here is a complete rip off), And then the train too which was a great adventure for us all…mostly though we have had the kindness of family drive us up daily and they have enjoyed seeing the kids go to school and come home with an array of stories.


I am incredibly grateful that their school is so lovely, that they are so happy and that starting school again has gone so smoothly! It is a small village school with small classes, in a beautiful setting. They are all friendly, the kids feel included and accepted, and they have been eager to go in every day and have left with smiles on their faces (what more could you want?). I am so excited about it, about their teachers and the clubs, the stuff they do and the fact that if I want to I can go have lunch with them too (or take them out and have a picnic) – what a bonus feature! I seriously feel like I am living the dream.

Yes it is a whole new way of life to that we have been used to, and I never imagined that something so ordinary as going to school would become such a great adventure – but oh what fun we’re having and how much we have to look forward to in the coming years here!

 

The Ordinary Moments
Follow: