South London Photographer: Summer holidays….Really? Yikes! Whoo Hoo! Yay! Oh, god…..

I am filled with joyful excitement and nervous horror all at once about the impending summer hols.  The smallest one finished nursery two weeks ago and asks me daily when he can start big boys’ nursery school.  In six weeks, I say.  Who knows if that means anything to him whatsoever?  If it did it would seem like an age, I’m sure.  I know it will fly by but even to me it’s a little daunting.  Six weeks of waking every morning and wondering what I can do that day to get them away from screens for a few hours.

But before it begins Son No. I will come to the end of his time at primary school. How did that happen?  When did it happen?  It has just sped by so fast.

I remember him starting nursery at the same big boys’ school No 3 can’t wait to get into when he was 4.  They are very different boys.  No 1 was born pretty much attached to my breasts.  “That will hurt if you let him keep doing it,” I was told by the midwife in hospital.  I didn’t care.  He seemed to need it.  And when he started nursery he was attached to my legs. Tearing us apart in nursery seemed like the cruelest thing in the world and he would wail and flail about as the very patient teacher prised him off me.  As I walked away there would be tears streaming down my face.  Apparently on his second day there, he just stood at the gate the whole time waiting for me.  First children are so different to third, that’s for sure.  Son No 3 adjusted straight away when he started at the little kindergarden round the corner in preparation for big boys’ nursery and is more than ready to get on with it.

No 1 though took forever to adjust.  But of course, he did and although he remembers very clearly standing at that gate all day he now barely says goodbye when we part at the gate.  And heaven forbid I should try to hug or kiss him.  I wasn’t even allowed to greet him properly when he came back from the week long school trip he recently went on.  Par for the course, I guess.

I think I need to really appreciate this summer with Son No 1 though because once he starts secondary school, I am told it will race by even more quickly. I’m glad I ignored that midwife – it did hurt but he’s Mister Independent now and it was such a short time, in the grand scheme of things, when he really needed that connection.

So, anyway my blogs might be a little haphazard and irregular over the next six weeks is what I think I’m saying.  You never know, there may be another tomorrow… who knows how it will all pan out.  I’ve got some exciting work things coming up and there will be plenty of kiddie photographing opportunities.  I might even manage a joint selfie with Son No 1 hugging me at some point.  Overly hopeful?  You just never know…

Let’s hope the sun does it’s thing as often as possible – by that I mean shines through because this grey week has been most disappointing!

Happy summer hols everyone!

Image (c)sarahjanefield 2015



South London Photographer: Some more road rage but also a long-term personal ambition achieved!

On Wednesday I overslept.  This was a bit of a shame as it was an induction day for Son No 1 at his new school.  With very little time I threw some clothes at all the children, made arrangements for the younger ones, and also for my supermarket delivery to be welcomed whilst I was out as I’d evidently forgotten about the school thing when I finally realised our cupboards were quite bare (I really was quite disorganised about this whole day, it turns out); and leapt into the car yelling at Son No 1 about how we had to hurry because we were going to be late, almost as if it were his fault. I guess it wasn’t an ideal start to the day.

Of course we then hit a traffic jam and I had to do a U-turn to avoid being even later than we already were, so when an annoying man banged on my car and told me off for turning around near a zebra crossing, I must say I wasn’t really in the mood for receiving his opinion about any possible errant driving habits I may have.

Poor Son No 1.  Nervous about his upcoming day, a bit ruffled by our rushed exit and now sitting next to his highly neurotic yelling mother, who was currently swearing at a complete stranger about how she thought he was a wanker who should wait until his own life was perfect before taking it upon himself to start telling others how to live theirs!

“Mum, you’re so embarrassing!  You don’t even know him.” Mmmm.  Would it have made it any better if I had known him?  Sometimes, I do wonder how much the therapy that my intelligent and sensitive boy will need later is going to cost him?  Not ‘me’ you notice…

So anyway, we got to the secondary school on time, thanks to my U-turn. (Which I will tell you was not actually on the zebra crossing and in fact there was no one except said censorious grumpy pants crossing at the time, and I do have a rearview mirror and a small camera at the back so I could see him, and had I wanted to run him over, I of course could have and with a great deal of accuracy too.)

I was exceedingly proud of Son No 1. He was exceptionally cool about it all, really enjoyed the day and later when he tried on his new uniform in the pop-up shop at the end of the day I could have wept.

I find it hard to have ambitions in life.  Not sure why, I kind of just rumble on taking little steps in all directions, making strides and then finding myself sitting down for a brief or even a long whistle and possibly a little think before bothering to get up again. Probably because taking steps in all directions all the time is really quite tiring, not to mention disorientating.  But one of the ambitions I have held for a long while is to try and give my children some sense of stability.

That hasn’t always been easy, especially given a recent divorce and some house moves we’ve had to do.  But an ambition of mine that meant a great deal to me was to ensure that at least one of my children (if not all, although I do have high hopes) managed to stay at the same school for the duration. I guess because I went to quite a few schools in my time – and I actually mean a lot – and found it extraordinarily disruptive although I’m certain it needn’t be so if your children have moved about, please don’t feel I’m having a go.  This was just something that felt personally quite important.

And guess what?  We’ve achieved that.  For Son No 1 at any rate.  He’s been at the same school since nursery and is now really ready to move on. It’s just a small thing to some but to me it means a great deal and I’m pretty pleased with it, I have to say.

It doesn’t mean he’s without his problems. He’s been in trouble at school this week, had computer rights taken away and then earned back and then taken away again several times.  He’s rude as hell to me and drives me round the bloody bend. But we’re doing OK despite my road rage, current state of exhaustion and bad time keeping in the morning; along with my absolute inability to keep on top of the online food shopping! Have a great week.

The children engrossed in playing and So No 1 showing the others how it’s done.

Image (c)Sarah-Jane Field 2015