Despite the rocky start to the Summer holidays (namely writing my car off by letting it roll down a bank into a ravine), August has been such a fabulous month. We bought a new car (far nicer than the old one), and have been on several jaunts around the country, from the mindblowing Camp Bestival, to camping with family and the hilarious Kevin Bishop for four days on a farm in Dorset, to becoming free-spirited and smelly at the Wilderness Festival, to being tourists (and nostalgic) in London for a few days.
I cannot believe that August is already nearly over. The week after next Betty starts school. This gives me a sinking feeling. This is because:
Firstly, my sweet baby girl is about to embark on a very grown-up thing - the education system, and she will be in it for many years to come, and for five whole days a week. She will get attitude, learn unsavoury vocab, develop awful dress sense, and probably start to hate me.
Secondly, we will lose our freedom to a certain extent; no more visiting great grandma for lunch on Thursdays, no more going on holiday whenever the heck we like, and no more just being able to hang out together at home on weekdays, and get on each others' nerves, and argue about what we are going to have for lunch.
Thirdly, going into town yesterday to get Betty's new school shoes, and fighting our way through all the other parents and their slightly depressed looking kids (that was me thirty years ago) trying on shoes, made me realise that we are now part of the school pack - the pack who have to do these grown up things every term (or at least every year) for the next twelve years or so, like get school uniform ready, buy pencil cases and rubbers and exercise books and lunch boxes and bags - we are no longer in our own exclusive pack where we get to wear whatever colour shoes we like.
But Betty is very excited about starting school. In fact, she cannot wait to start, and told me the other day: 'Please Mummy, no more camping, I just want to go to school and do my letters with my new teacher'. Of course I share her excitment and enthusiasm, and on the one hand I feel excited and happy about this new chapter, but I still can't help that sinking feeling.