It's that time of year again. The time of year when the sun is shining, the summer feels tangible, a picnic beckons and formal education feels like too hard a mountain to climb. We are all tired. My eldest is growing weary of revision: he has one more paper to go and he will have completed two IGCSEs. The younger two performed in the Swaledale Festival on Sunday: they played the parts of ghostly children in the poignant and funny, locally written "Deckchairs". I am beginning to panic that we haven't done "enough" this year, that there isn't enough on paper, that the fictional inspector would not be satisfied, that the voices of discontent would be, well, discontent.
I can see that what I often fail to do it to count our successes as weighty as our failures, that new and unexpected opportunities do not matter to me as much as the plans that got left behind. I like to tick boxes, see completed workbooks and have something to show on paper for a year's education.
What I do have to show is three happy, healthy and thriving children. They are increasingly independent and self-motivated. They have all become much fitter and eat more healthily since our move North. My eldest has taken his first qualifications. We have read books, studied maths and science, become part of the local parish church, my daughter has taken up dance, my middle son joined his first football team and my eldest become part of Youth Theatre in Richmond. For my own sake, I can keep repeating their achievements but I'm not sure that it really matters (or is very interesting to read), what matters is that we keep living this life that we have chosen, that the children keep on developing and growing and that I turn my eyes from what we haven't done to what we are, this moment, actually doing.