So we love camping out on the sofa especially before the teenagers disappear off for half term… the night before the half-term week away.  They’re flying 4,000 miles with their Dad, off to see their lovely Granny… they are excited and they are wobbly…

And because it is ALWAYS tough for each of us to be leaving each other, we go for the feel good option of pizza and a funny film as the perfect antidote for our blues.  And having unashamedly been of the Breakfast Club generation, I never have been to refuse a little of Matthew Broderick.  We get to watch Ferris Buellers Day Off – it’s the feel good movie with the positive life messages… and it makes us laugh out loud … a lot. 

And so literally within a few minutes this Ferris BOOM is delivered…” Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”… and I am struck at how mindfulness has been in our lives all along. Its threads of simple wisdom gently reminding us all caught up in the crazy 21st century life that incredibly, is more than ever about the ‘now’.  

Be it those cherished moments of hunkering down on a cosy sofa, eating pizza on a Friday 
night with your children or teenagers.  Being with the warmth of their now not so small bodies, with longer limbs draped over the sofa arms and hearing their breathing or their braced teeth munching pizza, the snorts of laughter and sibling banter.  

So with an arm wrapped around each we find our good place to connect before we leave each other for the week, happy in the understanding that these wonderful moments are part of the fabric of our lives. 

The moments of stillness, of love and quiet in amongst the busyness of half-terms, packing, travelling… Because then, before we all know it, the half term has come and gone and we are left with only rushed preparations for the next part of term and all that it brings.  

Being aware of the present is a gift.  It is the gift of your children’s smiles, the funny rolling of the eyes, a hug hello or goodbye. It is being in that extraordinary moment, with your thoughts as you notice the natural kind smiles children have, the grim faced grunt or their now stronger and longer arms felt around you as you are hugged.  

Even smelling teenager’s hair at its worst is considered a gift….Why so I hear you ask? ….Because you noticed, the hormonal charged scalp of your teenage Son that totally brings you into the present moment… the ‘teenage boy hair’ wafts – they can make you realise how much your Son has grown up, so quickly.  You wonder and begin to notice how much time you really now spend talking or trying to talk to them, being with them …  these moments are so totally sensory smellingly special.  

And so to have these moments post send-off is about parents getting organised for their kid’s time away with their other parent.  It cannot be estimated how much this is a really good thing for children!  They will be less stressed and upset. Most children when facing challenges like being organised, help prepare them, support them, give them the time they need to be sad, excited, nervous or happy.  Being kind to everyone is not the last minute packing mentalness that can happen, that leaves us all feeling rotten after the children have left.

Remembering it is the children who are having to move about not us.  Give them all the support and love they need.  Make time so you are able to notice how they are feeling, rather than thinking about what you are going to do after they have gone.  Tell them you will miss them, tell them you are happy they are going to spend time with their other parent, tell them that you will also be okay whilst they are gone, reassure them, hug them, let them know it is OK to message or not to message. That you totally love and cherish them.  For all their stinky hair, piles of bedroom washing and unwashed cups…  

Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”

Be the parent that stops… and here is the irony …. stopping is what makes the world go round …

With love x