that is it. There are no more school runs.
Today is the start of my first week where I don’t need to leave the house and take children to school.
I have been doing a daily school run for 18 years. Initially juggling a school run with a toddler and then two school runs with a baby. From being able to walk over the road and stand at the gates twice a day to doing nearly three hours a day and only stopping long enough for three kids to jump in or out of the car.
School runs seven days a week whilst Jonnie was weekly boarding, pick up Saturday lunch time, drop off Sunday night. It felt like our whole lives during term time were overshadowed by school runs and that any other plans had to be made around them. Longing to go away for a weekend, or taking a sneaky Monday off and making a long weekend of it. And a mid week break was out of the question. I no longer have to ask my lovely friend Jo if she can do the school run for me when I have gone to Africa for a week, or to London for dinner
The school runs are now done.
And if I am honest I wasn’t really ready for this landmark so soon. That’s not to say that I didn’t imagine Ellie passing her driving test first time last week, I was confident she would. I just hadn’t put two and two together that when she did I would then be redundant at 7.30am and 5.30pm. That she would now be driving herself to school for her final year.
When Caity finished school I still had to take Jonnie and Ellie to the same school whilst she got the bus to sixth form. When Jonnie then went to a different school I had to juggle the end of terms at two different schools.
No more do I have to make sure I am up, dressed and out the door by 7.30am. I can wander about in my dressing gown and wave Ellie off before going back to bed with a cuppa. I don’t have to ask if pick up is 4pm, 5.30pm or 6pm if there has been an away match. It no longer matters. No more do I have to stop what I am doing, regardless of what it is, to dash out of the door at the end of the day. Ellie will just appear at some point and remind me it is the end of the day
Which also means I am no longer out of the house and passing various shops where I can “just grab some milk” or butter. We are out of butter at the moment and I can’t be arsed to go out just for butter so we will have to make do until I go shopping which really isn’t how our kitchen normally runs.
No more will I spend an hour a day catching up with Ellie as she tells me about her day About the school gossip We won’t listen to Grimmy anymore and her then watch me turn on radio 2 the second she opens the car door Nor will I have to see her eyes roll as she turns off radio 4 in the afternoon to listen to the going home song or the 10 minute take over
No more sneaky McDs breakfasts every now again just because we could
I really wasn’t mentally prepared for this landmark. It hasn’t sunk in yet. My alarm is still set for 6.15am and at the weekend still woke up at 7am too. It’s hard to suddenly switch off after 18 years of doing something
Even if it does now mean I have three hours of my day back.
Photos of school bus courtesy of Shutterstock