I love the feeling you get on the last few days of a holiday, when the impending deadline of that journey home beckons and you start thinking about the life you’re about to slip back into.
Or is it just me?
As a kid, I was incredibly fortunate to go abroad every year, without fail. Whether it be to rented apartment in Northern France, or a poolside hotel with the kittens of Greece, it’s something my parents worked hard for and I shamefully took for granted.
Whilst I hope that one day he’ll appreciate the gift of travel (as those childhood adventures certainly wet my appetite for it) – so far, Sammy’s done pretty well too. In his short 15 months in this world, he’s been on two holidays abroad. Greece last september (a ridiculously thrifty last minute week I cobbled together after days of internet scouring) and France this year (Eurotunnel crossing courtesy of Tesco Clubcard points). We’re also fortunate to be making a trip to my sister in law’s family house in Portugal next month.
I know I’m utterly spoilt and I doubt it’s something we’ll be able to keep doing. Some friends go to far flung escapes a lot more luxurious than us but that’s not what makes it for me. I don’t mind where we go. It’s the being away from the daily routine, seeing new places through different eyes that leads you to return with a different way of thinking and a renewed appreciation of home, however subtle it may be.
It was funny seeing Sam’s reaction when we got back to our house. As someone so little, it’s hard to know how much he remembers. Like a wild kitten with an upturned basket of wool, he propelled around the living room (his little legs couldn’t do that last time we were there) grabbing at his old toys, bringing books onto the sofa only to be distracted by the next prize that caught his eye. He’s constantly looking around. Even with his bedtime story he was unable to give his attention to the pages. His eyes would pour over his shelves, the pictures on his walls, soaking up all the familiar details.
So despite the most amazing two weeks, we’re happy to be back. At times I moan about the state of the house, all the DIY we have no time or resources to finish yet but really, we’ve got it so good. On the return journey, I made promises to myself like I did all those years ago before a new school term began. I won’t leave my homework until the last minute, I’ll exercise more, read books, eat better, be kinder to myself…
Never mind January for resolutions, this is my time of year for feeling all kinds of positive about what’s ahead with my little team of three. There’s lots to be done and so much good stuff to happen (also, a beer and baguette gut to lose). From now on mornings will start early and bedtimes will do too… well I say now, but it’s almost 2am.
It’s ok. Term begins tomorrow and I can almost smell the new shoes and conkers amidst the air of possibility.