Back To School......

With the swipe of my finger across the face of my phone, setting the early morning alarm for the first time in two-and-a-half months, the summer of 2015 was casually brought to a close. 

As simple an action as that concluded the months of lie-ins (10 am constitutes a lie-in) and the non-routine mix of lazy and busy days. The never-ending period of long sunny days that stretched out before us had..... well.... ended. The 'sunny' part of course being in my imagination. And in my pre-summer blog posts. If I ever wax lyrical about the joy of an impending summer again then you have my absolute permission to tell me to STOP! Note: If there's ever an early heatwave in April/May in future then we must treat it as our summer and make the most of it.

The dreaded back-to-school preparation has been completed. Although this being my boy's Transition Year (4th Year in Ireland) the 'dreaded' part was absent. With no books to purchase, and therefore no books to cover with the dreaded sticky-back covering that sticks to digits as well as to educational tomes, it was the easiest prep ever! Please note though that you must not compute 'no books' as less back-to-school costs. The cost is actually more. 

If the school has a good Transition Year programme (and ours does) then this gap year can afford wonderful opportunities to our teenagers who at (or almost at) 16 are on the brink of adulthood; so close you can sniff it in the atmosphere. 

With work experience opportunities being currently - and frantically - sourced this can help them with future study and career choices; it may even help provide a future part-time job. It can also, equally as important in my opinion, reveal to them that what they think is their true calling might be more difficult to achieve than they realised. An important lesson and one that has the potential to inspire when they commence 5th Year. 

Transition Year is an adventure with lots of opportunities, outings, projects and assessments. It is not a doss year.... to a certain extent it can be but shhhh - we must not say that within their hearing!

They will get out of this year what they put into it.

I filled my son's head with some of these thoughts as he went in for registration today. 

And these were the thoughts that filled mine as I mused about what being back-to-school meant to me....

The  daily 'Get out of that bed..... NOW ' 'conversation' still takes place but at a much earlier and ungodlier hour!

New rules apply for the almost 16 year old:  1) No breakfast or a cold and/or soggy one if he doesn't come down on time. The choice is his. 2) As this is a less pressured year and there's an excellent bus service daily school pick-ups are no longer required and are therefore reserved for the odd treat.

Earlier bedtimes are back so midweek Netflix 'Breaking Bad' binges are limited to one episode only, and viewing must end by 10 pm.

Not only does the teenager get routine back into his day but so do I. I never thought that I'd celebrate that but I do. I like lazy days, don't get me wrong, but I dislike the mess they can create, particularly when they become the norm rather than the exception! Some daily routine, which also allows some laziness, brings order to my day..... ending with a delicious and a deeper night's slumber. I can but hope! 

The daily responsibility for alternative activities for a teenager's mind and body are someone else's issue.

Some more time may be found for writing more blog posts?

Morning meet-ups are finally back on the agenda, in the midst of other commitments, and I can see some mega catch-ups in my future!

I was going to add 'Freedom!' to this list but really I can't. I've enjoyed this summer with him. He's fun to be with and fairly independent. 

I am glad that he too will now have more structure to his day again and I'm excited for what this year can mean for him.

Good luck son!


  1. Reading this makes me really look forward to my son beginning Transition Year in 12 months time! I really hope your son has a wonderful - and useful - year xx

    1. @Looking for Blue Sky: They say it can be the making of them and can 'bring them out of themselves'. But they will only get out of it what they put in. Here's hoping that both our boys take advantage and benefit hugely! Thanks for your good wishes :) xx

  2. Ohh thank the Lord for school being back and routine returning. It is Thursday for my grls and Friday for JJ and it can not come soon enough! Mich x

    1. @Michelle Twin Mum: I'm finding that as he gets older and less dependent on me for entertainment I'm not as wishful for beck to school as in other years! The routine part is good though....they (and we!) need that I think.
      Good luck this week...hope all goes well, especially for your secondary school boy! xx

  3. There's a renewal that comes with every September when you've got kids going back to school. The surprising thing is tht it's not just a new begiining opportunity for them but for us too. Have a great academic year - both of you. xxxx

    1. @Midlife Singlemum: Hmmm... never thought of it like that, and it is a very good way to think about it. Maybe that changes when they get older though? I don't feel a renewal now, perhaps that's because this summer was the easiest ever and I don't feel the need for 'freedom'. I could still do walks and classes and leave him alone at home. That helps hugely. I definitely felt the doors of opportunities open, slightly, when he was younger.
      Thanks, and I wish and your gorgeous DD a very happy academic year too. xxx

  4. Three out of my four are finished transition year. I loved it. It gave them a year to just 'be'. I hope your boy thrives. I do agree though that you only get out of it what you put in.


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