The end-of-term time warp
Mid to late June is a funny time for mums in Dubai. School pick-up in the sweltering heat, as I mentioned here, requires the stamina of a carthorse, the endurance of Duracell battery and the patience of a saint but, beyond that, as the end of the year approaches, the children are tired and the mums are tired. Everyone needs a break.
And now, with the summer holidays so near I can smell the coconut scent of the sunscreen I won’t be needing in England, I picture myself crawling on bloodied hands and knees towards the finishing line of what is the marathon of the school year, and something strange happens: time warps.
I don’t mean to sound like Dr Who, but it really does warp.
The school year, which, in September, stretched out before us, an endless and, to be honest, quite tiresome ocean of homework, spelling tests, mental maths tests and packed lunches, concertinas up in the strangest way: now, with just 10 school days left, just as we should be sliding gracefully towards a gin & tonic on board our Emirates flight home, there are suddenly too many things to fit into the remaining two weeks.
In the space of 10 school days, I have two end-of-year concerts, two moving-up meetings, two mums’ nights out, the school ball, two mums’ coffee mornings, a shop full of leaving cards to buy, thoughtful end-of-term presents to buy and wrap, two school trips to remember (disposable lunches, PE kits and water bottles-on-a-string), next year’s name tags to order and still, of course, ten packed lunches to still to think about.
Oh, and did I mention: I have work to do as well? (How my laugh tinkles.)
I am, as I said, dragging myself towards the finishing line but – and here’s another quirk of the universe – even as I do so, I dread the last day of term. Why? Because it’ll mean the children are off school for nine and a half weeks.
And we all know what that means… on second thoughts, roll on September.