Here in Australia, we have just finished the school holidays between term 1 & 2. Being Ava’s first year of school, they were our first school holidays ever. I’m so happy that she loves everything about school, but I was also happy to have her around for two weeks. Towards the end of the term I was missing having her around. Missing the way we used to spend our days.
At first when I knew the holidays were coming, I thought that maybe I was supposed to start making some kind of plans… or lists… lists of things like; 1. Visit the zoo, 2. Go to the Easter show, 3. Plan a farm stay…. but I didn’t. I’m not one for filling every day with a plan. Sometimes the best plan during a break is to make as few as possible. The plans we did have involved seeing friends. A few coffee’s and play dates with new local school friends. We also met with some friends we don’t get to see as often any more…. and there was a meet up in the park with Ava’s kindy class.
At one point I feared that maybe I had under planned and maybe I was going to fail at giving Ava great school holidays. I wondered if she would have to tell a story when she went back to school about what she did in the holidays. I imagined children all around her drawing pictures of pony rides and jumping castles… then Ava drawing a picture of herself eating a grilled cheese sandwich in the yard. A quick google of school holiday activities in Sydney & I found out there were fairy gardens to visit, peppa pig shows at the shopping centre and daily events at the local libraries. I started filling the calendar with phone numbers for bookings & events to attend. Including two photo shoots Pete & I had booked in, our calendar was almost full with plans. Then I walked into a room and found the girls happily playing…. they were singing and making signs for a pretend shop. I went back to my calendar and crossed out the booking numbers & events. I unfilled the days and left room for nowhere plans.
We spent time savouring the simplicity of the days rather than trying to fill them. There was some incredible sunshine & some incredible rain. There was no zoo trip, no Easter show, no farm stay this holidays and I didn’t get through the list of suggested holiday homework with Ava like I had planned to either. Instead we sat in the sun and chatted, we snuggled up with stories while the rain poured down, we cut up old magazines and made pictures, we looked through coloured cellophane, we stumbled across an art gallery in a park, we played in water, we slept in, we ate lunch together, we played music, we grabbed our umbrellas and went walking in the rain.
Something that has worked for me in motherhood is to leave gaps of time unfilled. To not be afraid of what might happen if my children have nothing to do for a moment. There is a saying that goes “only boring people get bored”. I suspect that in the quiet place of having nothing to do, some of the best things are created… dreams are dreamed, songs are written and things waiting to be enjoyed are discovered. The slide show below is of the day we went walking in the rain. Once the suggestion was made & I saw how excited the girls were, I decided to take my camera. It was ridiculous really… It was raining… Ava didn’t have gumboots and I didn’t have a rain coat… and yes we got wet. When we crossed roads I had to keep my umbrella above my camera & hold both the girls hands while they also held their umbrellas and their cuddly toys. It was ridiculous, but it was fun. It was the outcome of making nowhere plans…
music: ‘whole wide world’ by Mindy Gledhill available on itunes