While the Web and blogosphere fills up with back to school themes here in Spain we have another 2 weeks to go. The summer holidays here are SO LONG, the kids break up around 20th of June and go back 12th September. Almost 3 months. 3 MONTHS! It is such a long time. This year has been a really good one. Partly because I have had less work than usual ergo less stress but also because after last year I have taken extra care to relish every moment and I have. I have struggled too, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the demands of work, the kids, the house, and how everything continues on despite this massive thing that happened and which continues to roll over quietly in the back of my mind. I don’t dwell too consciously on whether my cancer might come back but I can’t fully forget about it either. H and I were talking the other day about the kids, speculating about them as teenagers and that scary little voice wondered if I would be here to see it. I don’t talk about it to anyone, not even H, because I know they would just tell me not to think like that, be positive etc etc and I don’t need to hear that. I am positive and I don’t think like that. Often. But it’s there. And I can’t entirely ignore it. I don’t know that I should. I have never been more aware that we only have today. Only today to live, to love, to make memories, no one is promised anything else. And holding on to that has helped me to revel a bit more in the little moments.
Not that it is all sweetness and light and perfect idyllic family life. Ha! The kids are cranky and bored and despite a great summer full of fun activities they are tired. They are craving the routine of school with the predictable days and weeks that tick over one the same as the other. God, aren’t we all? They are getting nippy with each other and little scraps are forever springing up. Y particularly is just tired. He can’t stop having fun and it’s getting too much for him. But. Then we have moments like yesterday afternoon when I got home from work and took them to the beach with a friend. Where the light was long and golden and the water was wavy and perfect for crashing about in inflatable donuts and boats. The water was so warm and we played for ages. As I watched their happy faces, grins from ear to ear, as they bobbed about on the surf, laughing their heads off, I tried so hard to mentally capture the moment. Thinking ‘keep this moment, hold it’. So many little moments we forget only to, MAYBE, remember one day when someone else prompts us, or otherwise lose them forever. Being out in the waves, jumping alongside I couldn’t take a photo but it was like one of those golden memories in Inside Out. The image of their faces beaming inside a golden orb rolling down to core memories, lighting up family island. Of course like many a real family day (vs a pinterest family day) it was followed by tantrums and fights and overtired tears (Y I am looking at you) But it seems to be to be the standard price we have to pay, and on balance it’s worth it.
Summer you have seriously been a beauty. We have splashed and dived and rolled in sand. Made sandcastles, floated on donuts, played football and frisbie on the sand. Had parties until late, laid outside until 1am to watch shooting stars, complaining and giggling and fighting under blankets on the sand. Visited family and friends and had them visit us, gone to new places. Gone out in boats, canal and sea, jumped on trampolines, jumped off rocks, climbed trees, hit up the Waterpark and kissed and cuddled and shouted and fought and made up, cried and laughed and loved loved LOVED it all.