Back to life, back to reality

Sorry if any of you have noticed that I have been away for six weeks. Not intended, not planned for, but necessary for my survival.

With five kids, the summer holidays are my personal Everest, the biggest challenge of my year. Not that I dislike my children, but my energy and patience levels (along with money, I have to add) run out long before the return to school. Three years ago, my health fell apart - raging tonsillitis, vivid hallucinations, the works…. The next year, it was my mind - after a big writing project, I couldn’t string a sentence together and how the kids turned up on the first day of school with correct uniform and equipment, I do not know! Last year, I was an emotional wreck by 1st September and took until half term to recover.

So this year, I put my own life on hold - writing, the gym, friends, relationships!!!! - and concentrated on survival. It seems to have worked. The kids all had a great summer and I feel pretty intact. Result. End of apology and excuse.

Well, all the children are back to school. One has started secondary school for the first time, another primary school. An achievement in itself, albeit not a green one. According to the New ConsumerGreen your school kid”, I fail on every front. Uniform: none of it fair trade or eco uniform BUT most of it recycled. In fact, I was given so much pre-owned (the new secondhand) uniform that I had enough to pass on to others!! Stationery: most of it from WHSmith BUT using gift cards from last Christmas and not succumbing to daughter pressure for Playboy. Food: a long way to go there, let’s leave it at that for now. The school run: easy as we live practically next door to the primary school and the others have no expectations of lifts. Wow! We scored in one area!

Pretty woeful, when it gets down to it, but we are so good in so many other ways (is the persuasive tone coming across?). I won’t try to justify our existence. Isn’t there a danger that as a society, we are becoming very judgemental and prescriptive, rather than encouraging and educating?

It’s absolutely fantastic that all these fair trade and green choices are out there.

So is freedom of choice.

Let’s celebrate both.

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