Yesterday I had an indefeatable feeling of ennui and flatness at being home. It was quite disturbing. I mean, I could understand it if I'd been to the Maldives and back, but, lovely as it was, it was only Centre Parcs. Perhaps I just wasn't ready to come home after all. Or perhaps post-holiday blues are that normal?
Either way, I tried all my 'go to' activities and none of them worked. I tried my usual podcast, I tried my Kindle, I tried Gilmore Girls. And the flatness remained. Do I hate home this much? No.
And all I wanted to do was eat chocolate. It was like my body was screaming for it. Perhaps all it was, in reality, was sleep deprivation dressed up as a kind of Depression. That would explain the internal screaming for sugar. When mum arrived, she declared that she'd brought a bag of 'goodies'. I noted that she'd been to M&S and the hope started to rise within me. But it turns out we have a different definition of the word. Mum, smiling, produced healthy treats: rocket, lovely ham, a nice roll and strawberries. All of which I was grateful for. But not a scone in sight! Not that it would have lifted my mood, anyway...
The day wasn't all bad. After the topsy-turvy start (where I'd abandoned all my usual morning routines I write about), I did feel better after a little trip to the park. The sky was cloudless and the sunshine glorious. And the blue sky and sunlight through the leaves did make things a bit better. As we got to the park I also realised that all the primary school children were here for a morning run. I was glad. It's nice to feel like there's a world out there sometimes. Anyway, what was funny was that I walked past the school bus (which seemed to be taking some of the children off swimming) and it gave me a real memory of primary school and a kind of excitement. I felt excited Grace would be part of all this sometime soon. Maybe I'll feel differently when the time comes round but it felt nice to think I'll enjoy that new chapter.
It happened again on the way home and we passed the school and I could smell the exact same smell of school dinners that I'd had as a child - they were dinners I enjoyed and I used to look forward to at the end of the morning. It took me back to that feeling of excitement at the thought of the bell ringing for lunch. Funny how some things never leave you. I wonder if school dinners are exactly the same as they were, or if Jamie Oliver has abolished the sponge cake with pink custard and perfectly round balls of 'mashed potato'.
I got to thinking that this time next year Grace will be at pre-school. The days of her being at home with me all day, where I wonder what to do with the hours, will be behind me. It's strange to think I'll be catapulting her out into the World. As I watched the children, all shapes and sizes, doing their run around the park, it struck me I won't be able to protect her in the same way. In fact, some of them laughed at Gracie a bit at one point, as she'd thrown herself on the floor for some reason in their path. I couldn't tell whether the laughter was unkind or not. Hard to say. I felt protective, anyway.
September is such a nostalgic month, too. I think it brings real back-to-school feelings, both from youth and from teaching days. I still feel weird when I see kids walking down the street in their uniform around 3 O' clock. I think I missed the feeling this time around though, because we were away, and it's hit me with renewed vigour, adding to the blues.
Anyway, today has been better. And we've had baked brownies in the house. So all is not gloom.
Gracie's phrase for the day: 'Mummy, if I had three hands I could have a biscuit and a brownie.' I didn't have the heart to tell her she technically could, with two.