Summer is almost over and mozzie ridden ankles are soon to be shoved into fleece-lined boots once more. I have replayed childhood summers against the denim palette of a Chiko Roll poster and reflected on how my younger brother and I would horsey-dive wholeheartedly into each day, maximising all that is great about summer. Substituting a bath for a dip in the pool, integrating an icy-pole into the daily diet and wearing clothes only when it was socially necessary, we some of my highlights. As a kid you seem to remember summers more than you do as an adult. Grown ups still have to go to work, come home and make dinner, feed the dog and put out the rubbish just as they do in colder months, it's just whether you do it sans swimming cossie. However despite both working full-time, I do remember how summer meant Mum and Dad relaxed from routine and allowed a certain 'feral' element to creep into domestic life from December to March. Great news for my brother who could often be seen in nothing more than his Speedo and gumboots dragging off-cuts of wood home from building sites. His face would often look like he had eaten with wolves and the lovely crust of green around his nose was cemented until bath time.
For me (older and less attracted to dirt), it was more an opportunity to perfect handstands, back-bends, and rollerskating in my Hang Ten bikini out in the street till after dark while singing 'Wired for Sound' in my head, (YouTube video link: I don't remember being as confronted as I am now about the men in the Lycra jump suits).
It was all rather blissful unscheduled fun.
While all this 'anarchy' was taking place, my parents tended to position themselves outside after work not doing anything other than just talking. They didn't cradle smart phones while Face-booking photos of wine glasses next to cheese platters or download bank statements on to tablet devices...they just sat. I have no idea what they would talk about, (as I was often whizzing past at 10km/hour), however it never seemed overly serious. There was more laughing and smiling than not, and I had their complete and undivided attention when the latest feat against gravity was ready for critiquing. I couldn't tell you what time we would eat dinner, because we clearly never starved and my brother would occasionally go to bed in his Speedos with a rock or piece of wood under his pillow and black feet.
I don't think these few months that mum and dad had 'off' had any adverse affects on us, in fact and not surprisingly my brother is now a builder. We still understood the house rules, showed respect to adults, used a knife and fork, wiped our noses with a tissue (my brother every so often with his sleeve) and said 'please' and 'thank you'. I think they must have felt like it was a holiday from being themselves.
So, why should holidays only happen when you are not at home?
While my eldest daughter would argue that I am on 'permanent holiday' from being a normal mum, I would like to think that our dancing in the kitchen and choreographing of movie musicals (none of which is deterred by our self-assessed lack of talent) are small ways we can bring in a bit of vacation. Not doing the school reader every single night, eating weet-bix for dinner and burping competitions at the table, while shameful and outrageous acts, are nice 'long weekends to have on Wednesdays'.
Note: I did not recieve any Chiko Rolls in exchange for this article. Wouldn't turn down a pair of white boot skates though!