4pm. The school bus grinds to a halt at the end of a gravel side-road. The young girls, the last on the bus today, peel themselves from the cracked vinyl of the seats, and slinging backpacks laden with school books over one shoulder, they amble towards the front of the bus and clamber down the steps. Impatiently they wait for the bus to lurch away, and they break into a run, up the driveway and through the gate. They burst through the door, the previously almost-silence shattered by the clattering of school bags and shoes hastily discarded. The scent of promise wafts in the air. Their mother grins at them. How was school? The question is ignored, more pressing matters on their minds. What did you cook? Is it chocolate cake? The ends of the cake are quickly sliced. Slathered with butter. And, gone.
Now it’s I that does the baking, with my own two little ones at my knees. And I’m the one baking the comfort foods, the recipes that are copied from spidery writing on delicate, yellow paper. Wrapping it in checked tea-towels, and taking it to share with my mum. Completing the circle.
Today, we were blessed with yet more rain. Cabin fever threatened. So we bundled the children into the car, and set off in search of adventure. Or shops. Unfortunately, it appears I have used up my current “drag-husband-to-fabric-store” credit. But we managed some productive shopping nonetheless. And coffee. With some yummy citrus tart. And only two tantrums over who had the better biscuit. Tomorrow is our last day with daddy on holidays. So we are making it count. Trains. Long breakfasts. Family time. Painting. Stories. Hopefully not too many “that’s MY toy” moments. Enjoying every second. It’s 2010, the rain has arrived at long last, and all is right with my little world. Monday is still a whole day away. Let’s do this!