September always feels a bit like a new beginning for me, but this year we seem to be hitting that point a little later than usual. With the summer holidays (and the summer weather) a fading memory, Uncle N's visit over and clubs restarting we are finally getting back to what passes for "normal" in this house.
Life here has rhythms, patterns, right now they are reasserting themselves - and all of us are embracing them, enjoying the return of our routine.
The summer for us is a time of relaxing, no clubs, no structure, lots of visits to parks and friends. As the weather turns we tend to retreat indoors a bit more - we still go out and see friends but it's more likely to be at their home (or ours), we still go to parks, but it will be a shorter stay, not hours of playing in the warm sunshine. We generally become a bit more bookish too. Over the past few years I have learnt to embrace this - I think of it as tidal learning - sometimes we are more structured, other times more impulsive. I don't believe - not for one moment - either is better, or more conducive to learning, but I do think both have their place and time, both fill a need and as long as the children are happy I am happy to go with what is right for them right now.
Today was the first Multi-sports session of the new academic year. With a new coach and lots of new children it was a "team building" session, with lots of short games. Normally the kids do one sport for half an hour then switch.
It was also A's first session, and she enjoyed it a lot :)
A went into the session happily, seems to have joined in and didn't come out part way complaining.
It's interesting to think about how different that is to any of the boys - L has always watched for one or two sessions before joining in, M bounds in like an enthusiastic puppy ignoring social norms and niceties - creating waves, J tries for a bit then backs off. None of the boys were ready for activities that didn't involve parents at 6, none of them liked being left places without us. I wonder what made the difference? A knew a lot of the children involved, two of her brothers were there, they have been going for ages and she wanted to join in, and of course she is NT. Perhaps all of that. Perhaps none, and it's just because she is A and they are themselves.
M, unfortunately came out of the hall bouncy and pushing boundaries - which has continued since we got home. When he did the group assessments with CAMHs they noticed that he became "Hyper aroused" by physical activities, and I think that this morning we've seen more of that. I hope that it's just his being "out of practise" after an 8 week break . . .
So, multi sport today, but what else shapes our week?
Monday evenings L goes to a friends house to play role playing games. At the moment the game is on hiatus because the family are preparing to move, but in the past they have played D&D, Shadow run and MechWarrior.
Tuesday evenings A does Beavers, J Cubs and M Scouts. This can be a bit of a logistical nightmare because I can't drive, so my husband has to yo-yo to get everyone where they need to be. The groups are also awful at co-ordinating, and we've had two children meant to be dropped off and picked up at the same time but different places quite often.
Wednesdays J and A used to go to a children's social club, but that has just folded - I am hoping to find a replacement soon. M and L go to a games club in a nearby town. Every other week they stay on to play at the adult games club and my husband gets to play too.
Thursdays A does Girls Brigade, and I go to the nearby pub with a good friend :)
Fridays - once a month we go to a ranger led park session, we did pond dipping last week :) Then it's back home for M to go to chess club, J to go to a church social club and A to go to a friends house.
Sundays is Rugby for M and church for A and I.
Once a month we are going to a home ed book club, and an inclusive sports club. We have also started to go to another club for children with SEN and their siblings - at the moment we're joining activities a bit randomly, but the group runs stuff most weeks so we'll have to see how that goes.
Add in to this one off trips and more informal meets - like visiting a friend or them coming here, park meet ups, kids playing out, family trips - and our week fills up very quickly!
I like having a busy life, but sometimes it's just a little manic trying to fit it all in!