Monday, 31 August 2009

The New School

It is almost, very nearly, that time of year. Despite the fact that the temperature has been barely above mild, and I haven't once sat outside a wine bar, it would appear to be going back to school time. I believe there is less than a week to go. This year however has the added frisson of a brand new school.

My word, the panic. I don't mean D, I mean me. I had a routine, I changed my hours at work and sometimes I could even remember which way I was commuting. And in one fell swoop, it's gone.

I really don't feel as though I've given the whole new school issue the proper thinking time, but then, I can't remember giving anything recently the proper thinking time. We'll have to have a new routine about getting to school, he has to get a bus for goodness sake, and cross a main road. S asked me if I was going to wait at the bus stop with D and I told him such an idea was dreadfully over-protective, but in my head I thought "would it be so bad if I got the bus with him?"

Don't even get me started on coming home. We've decided to stick with the childminder for the time being, but at some point that will have to change, otherwise he'll end up revising for his GCSEs surrounded by toddlers. Then he'll have to cross the main road by himself again, and come home to an empty house. Do his homework, maybe cook his tea, wait for me to get home.

I love the fact he's growing up, blossoming before my eyes, but I can't help remembering how much simpler it was when he sat in a bouncy chair. I remember that I cried quite a lot and had nothing more than a vague idea of how on earth to look after this small being, but at least I was the only one crossing the road.

We need to move to the country.

Friday, 28 August 2009

The Holiday

I'm a lucky woman. I get to to live a life of which many women dream. I talk to women all the time, happily married women with children of their own, loving partners, affluent lifestyles, and they envy me.


I get to be a carefree woman for half of the week, and a mother for the other half. I'm able to compartmentalise my life, I can make arrangements to do certain things on certain days of the week without having to arrange babysitters; conversely I can arrange to do things with my son on other days and know that the time is purely ours, with no interruptions.

Last year I was fortunate enough to go to Sorrento on holiday with S. It was a beautiful destination, a gorgeous town and incredibly romantic. I was able to be a woman, first and foremost, as D was with his father. It was really the start of our relationship, a time for us to spend every minute together, a chance to learn more about each other than we already knew. And I loved it.

This year we went on a long weekend to Paris. Again incredibly romantic, and knowing each other so much better now. I was as relaxed as I'd ever been, enjoying the sights, enjoying him.

We've just come back from a week in Cornwall, staying in a cottage. This time though, it was the three of us, the first time we'd ever done the "family holiday" thing.

And boy, that was some different gravy.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The Truth

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
Jane Austen

It is also a truth that a single woman in possession of a son, a partner, a job and some of her faculties must be in want of absolutely nothing at all. But when you've got all of these things, how on earth do you balance them? How do you prioritise? How do they all fit together?

If you have all of these things, you're a lucky person. Many people have far less, and wish for the things you take for granted, the things which you think you have a right to have and experience. That doesn't mean that it's all plain sailing from here on in. If you look at that person, don't expect them to be perfect, don't imagine they never have a care in the world. They may have issues, worries, problems, different to you, but just as important to them.Their worries may be trivial in that great, global, grand scheme of worries, but they're worries nevertheless.

Society develops at an alarming rate; small children act like teenagers, teenagers act like adults and adults act like idiots. A woman's role now, I would hazard a guess, is as evolving and shifting as it ever has been. My mother's generation wanted a family and an inside toilet, the next generation of wimmin wanted liberation. Women today want the family, the career, the liberty and the security - but can they co-exist?

Can a woman have it all?

Can I?
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