Endless cheese toasties, three laptops and one small table

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Endless cheese toasties, three laptops on a small dining room table and noise – lots of it – is how I am going to remember home schooling.

I had loads of fun with my two teenage boys. We reconnected, I helped them study and I discovered I liked reading Romeo and Juliet!

This week, parents couldn’t wait to send their children back to school after months of home learning – but I felt sad.

The house is quiet, I don’t have a companion on my daily dog walks and the cheerful, daytime banter has gone.
I thought I would love the day when I waved the lads off to school. I’d enjoy a quiet brew, watch TV in the front room (a big treat as my 15-year-old hogs this space every night) and make anything but a cheese toastie for lunch, but I now realise that settling back into what was once normal life is going to take a while.

I sensed the air of excitement as parents prepared to send their children back to school since the pandemic and I was the pretty happy about the prospect too.

I rewashed their uniform, bought new snacks for their school bags and ‘bigged up’ going back to school with lines like ‘you’ll love being back’ and ‘you’ll get to see your mates again’.

But the spring in my step as I waved them off this week, didn’t materialise and I ended up watching the clock, waiting for them to come home.

The global pandemic has caused widespread hardship, disrupted business, travel and caused big job losses, but for us as a family there have been a whole string of positives.

Having my boys at home has been a gift and certainly the biggest upside to lockdown. We got through the year thanks to pizza nights, Monopoly, Zoom quizzes with the family and laughter.

I miss them and I’ll never moan about making cheese toasties again!

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