Traffic inching along the motorway, scrambling for a seat on the train and queuing for the bus. Sure signs that the Christmas holidays are well and truly over. It’ll be another few years before Little P is ready for school but I can imagine there were plenty of reluctant sleepyheads all across the country this morning! Although it was a long time ago, I can remember well what this day felt like. Going back to school in September wasn’t so bad. I always felt ready to see all my friends again, the Summer break had been sufficiently long and the evenings were still bright and balmy enough for play after school. But January was different. The mornings were dark and cold and there wasn’t anything happening. More importantly, I felt like I was going through a mourning period for the Christmas holidays that had passed. They had been so wonderful, magical and special but far too brief.
That’s why my heart goes out to all the children reluctantly returning to school this morning. They have just said goodbye to the most magical holiday and, to them, January must appear bleak and uneventful. It’s even harder now than ever. Think of the hype, the excitement and the anticipation they’ve been enjoying since October. First midterm break, then Halloween and then the two month build up to Christmas. Making Christmas lists, shopping trips, decorations, switching on the lights, going to see Santa! It’s a time packed full of activity and excitement for children. But what I remember as the most special thing of all was the attention of our parents for the whole holidays as well as Aunts, Uncles and other adults in the extended family. They weren’t heading off to work and they had time. Time for playing, chatting, getting out and about or just watching TV together.
When all that ends abruptly at the start of January it’s little wonder children are somewhat traumatised!
So if you have a cranky and uncooperative little one this week just remember that January is tough on them too. A little extra TLC may be required to get them through the next few days. But don’t worry, once they see the Easter eggs in the shops they’ll cheer up no end!