The thing that I most love and hate about the long summer holidays is the lack of routine. Not having to set an alarm in the mornings or be dressed and out of the house by a particular time. Not having to make sure the kids are in bed and asleep by 8 pm. Not having the relatively strict school routine stick to can sometimes make the bad days (of which there are many!) seem even longer and more hard work, but it also means much more quality time together as a family.
This time last year, we had found out or were just about to find out that our landlady was selling our house after us only living there for 6 months. The summer holidays passed us by in a bit of a blur – house hunting and saving every single penny in order to afford the move. Other than a few days away with my parents and two or three journeys to Wales to look for houses, we did pretty much nothing in the 6 weeks, which I felt insanely guilty about. I promised the kids, and myself, that this year would be different.
We are now almost at the end of the first week, and so far it’s been lovely. On Saturday evening, the kids put on their onesies and we went for a drive to Llandudno, and up to the top of the Great Orme. It was that lovely golden hour just before sunset when everything looks so pretty. We weren’t there long – just long enough to listen to the last of the seagulls, listen to the sheep, enjoy the last of the evening sun and get some fresh air before bedtime. It reminded me exactly why we made the decision to move here, to have experiences like that.
On Sunday, we wanted to take the kids to see the sky tower in Rhyl, which had recently been lit up. It was light when we left the house, so we headed to the beach in Prestatyn, where the kids played on the beach whilst we watched the sun set over the sea. The boys thought it was amazing, watching the sun disappear on the horizon. It was still too light to see the tower lit up, and they were getting a little bit tired, so we headed home.
When Graham came home from work at 10 on Tuesday night, the boys were still awake in the bedroom watching a film. We bundled them into the car and drove into Rhyl, finally seeing the tower lit up. The boys didn’t want to go straight home – they wanted to go out for a drive. With no one needing to get up in the morning, why not? Within ten minutes they were asleep, but we carried on for a bit longer. It was quiet on the roads, it was a lovely clear night and just a nice chance for Graham and me to just be able to talk and listen to some music quietly. Once we got home, Graham lifted them into their beds. The next morning we all slept in past 9 am – it was great!
Some nights – most nights, if I’m honest – I’m more than ready for them to go to bed at 8 pm, so I can collapse in front of the TV or get on with some work, but sometimes, you just need to let routine go out of the window. This summer is all about making some amazing memories in Wales and making up for a rubbish one last year.