We’re All Going on a Summer Holiday: Day Forty-Five

Saturday, 7 March 2009

We’re over half-way through!

Today, I am celebrating. I haven’t popped the champagne cork yet; the champagne glass is empty (have to wait until at least 3pm, realistically), but I am celebrating nonetheless. This morning, I spoiled myself to a Starbucks non-fat vanilla lattè (grande) and even spent an hour chatting with a very intelligent person who was actually older than eight years.

This afternoon, I might even have my nails done. Or go long-overdue shopping. Or – gasp! – read a magazine in between my regularly scheduled writing. I might even turn on the tele (I never do this in the day unless the kids are home) and watch some Games. Ooh la la! The choice is overwhelming me.

So, today my kids started two weeks of summer camp. And the reason I’m celebrating, above and beyond having personal choice outside playdough, wii, colouring books, tonka trucks and barbies, is that my kids where actually happy to go. They were really excited, and this – as many a mother will tell you – is a real feat. Sure, I talked it up, I created infectious enthusiasm, but I honestly do think they will enjoy it. Anything that involves swimming, hotdogs and friends is surely enough to keep any kid in rapture.

They had last week at home, and we had a good time – Ella had plenty of playdates, Riley and I pottered around and made trips to Jenny Lou’s for goodies, and kicked the soccer ball down the corridor into Ayi’s room, and coloured in and made ice slushies. Dad even nipped home early to take them both swimming. But overall, home is rather boring. Sure, Mum likes to play, but she still needs to write, shop for food, pick things up off the floor (groan), and wash Beijing microbes off her skin and hair occasionally. Boring, I know – but Real – and kids happen to live in a land of make-believe, where fun must be on tap. So, it’s with relief that they dashed off to Summer Camp at 8.15am. And I have every nerve-cell crossed that they’ll return home just as enthused.

The other reason I’m celebrating is that we’re half way through The School Holidays. Half way through! In fact, more than half way through. More than that, we are also only two and a bit weeks from a trip to Hong Kong for some really really fast R&R – so fast, we’ll be jetting back the night the kids were meant to start school (shhhh). We would have gone earlier, only this large Sporting Event just happened to be happening.

We also have a special reason to go to Hong Kong. We’re meeting up with my kids’ paternal Granny on her way back to Australia from the UK. Any excuse to spend a long weekend in Honkers. The kids will go bananas seeing their Gran, who they adore. And I’ll have someone to take to The Peninsula for High Tea. Again, any excuse (husband and kids never interested – groan).

Isn’t the world becoming a teensy place? When I was a kid, we’d be lucky to meet up with Granny two suburbs away, let alone popping down to Hong Kong, sweetie darling. I mean – really. It’s like the time I watched Riley play in his ClubFootball grand final, and I was particularly impressed by a little five-year-old British boy who scored quite a few goals. I passed on a compliment to the child, and then asked him where he had learned his soccer skills. Expecting him to say “In Sussex, Ma’am”, he instead confidently announced he had learned his stuff in Singapore. As you do.

Yes, the world is a smaller and smaller place, and with that comes ever-increasing reasons to pop a champagne cork. Why, you ask?

Do you really need a reason?

First published on the City Weekend Beijing website.

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