After the international jetsetting theme of August’s photos, it’s time to return to the more everyday ordinary location of our back garden.
And yet that seems very apt for our September photos. If August’s theme was traveling purely for the joy of it, and the fun of being away from home seeing the world together, September has been about the time we’re reunited back home.
It’s been the month when the big changes happened, when Kitty started school, and H and I threw our world on its head as I went back to work a couple of weeks ago, leaving him at home as the stay at home Dad.
I think for all of us there have been hard parts and easy parts of our new normal. I’m still not used to being away from the children for so long, I miss spending so much time with H, and there are moments that just tear me with guilt; Pip’s tears in the morning, or Elma telling me (quite happily) that she’d been crying for me at the play park, “but you didn’t come Mummy!”, even if I know in my heart of hearts that my tiny boy was all smiles as soon as he was presented with his breakfast and Elma was crying not out of sadness but because she was cross that H had buckled her into the buggy after she refused to walk home. But when I get to work, I’m doing a job I know how to do and which I take pleasure in doing well so the days are passing quickly enough.
H is loving spending more time with the children and really getting to know the ins and outs of their personalities but misses the halcyon days of our summer at home: save for the day I went to Blogtacular he’d never had all three by himself for more than the odd hour and I think it’s been a bit of a learning curve to balance their needs with running the house. I’m trying quite hard not to giggle when he tells me in surprise that he hasn’t sat down all day, bless the man, I’m not sure what he thought I did all day for the last few years.
And then we have our little trio, who on the whole seem to be coping pretty well. Aside from the switching the obligatory guilt trips from Daddy to Mummy, and I suspect a bit of a change to the lunch menu (H is less keen on veggie pasta shapes and cheese), life for the littlest two has stayed quite familiar, with playgroup and gym club and shopping and playing in and out of the house. When we took Elma out of nursery last January she got used to the concept of Kitty being somewhere she was not and so while she and Pip clearly love having Kitty around, there hasn’t been a terrible sense of loss of their ringleader and life potters on quite happily.
And Kitty, my little newly five year old, has decided that we’re part of a Mummy and Kitty club of grown up girls who go out to school and work. And aside from a tummy bug that put her off school for a couple of days, though thankfully she was better after a couple of hours, she’s been happy and settled. She seems to collect helping stickers like they’re going out of fashion, is very proud of having been the one to take the register back to the office by herself, and yesterday I got a picture from H half way through the afternoon showing her beaming smile as she hold out a little card that says she was ‘Star of the Day’. I think it’s safe to say school is a hit.
But for all that, life is still at its best when finally we can all be back home together again. Silly little moments sat mucking around in the garden, trying to make a human pyramid just because Kitty asked if we could, these are the ordinary moments that are more precious to me than any possession, the moments that make my very everyday sort of life my biggest blessing.
I take our picture, a portrait of a family home at last, not because I think that our separate days could ever diminish the love that knots us together but to recognise it and to cherish it.
My family, in September: