Day 1: catch a cold
Day2: have dinner with friends – discover Cooneyites
Day 3: go to bed – cold horrible
Day 4: Dublin zoo with the boy – a first
Day 5: go blonde and short
Day 6: Mum and Dad arrive
Day 7: rain
Day 8: rain
Day 9: rain
Day 10: Andy Murray wins Wimbledon – hooray!!
Day 11: run very fast with the boy on the lawn at Mount Stewart
Day 12: drop off the boy at his friend’s and worry for 5 hours that everything is going ok
Day 13: play hide and seek with the boy in the ruins of Grey Abbey
So far, so wet and so wonderful.
Unmedicated days with the boy are up and down. He hides in his world of other places, found in the black hole of his tablet screen. My heart struggles between letting him be there and making him be present with us. The first option is so much easier. And so quiet. The second involves schedules, lists, bargaining, timers set, goals made, constant questions about the next screen time, arguments, chocolate, fridge raiding, movement, hyperactivity, requests for help, abandoned activities, tears and mediation.
The summer break is always longed for by me. No rushing in the mornings, no packed lunches to make and no busy activity schedules. I love the quiet first thing in the day, the cup of tea, my garden bench (the one Katy and I sat on yesterday and it collapsed under us!), space to think and read and write. I relish and cherish these moments. They are precious. They set me up for the rest of the day, strengthen me, flood me with quiet energy and restore me. By the end of the day I feel emptied and at times struggling to find patience, but the sleepy ‘I love you’ from the boy softens my edges and reminds me that I am blessed to be his Mummy. No-one else got that job.
I struggle sometimes (often) to believe that I am doing that job well. I struggle sometimes (often) with the disappointment that our life isn’t screen free simplicity. I struggle sometimes (often) with how other people respond to Ethan. I struggle sometimes (often) with how I respond to Ethan.
But tomorrow morning, and the next, and the next, I will sit on my bench (the other one), with my tea and breathe in the stillness of the morning, the presence of Creator, ready for another day.