I just wanna live, man. There’s no other way to start this post – I just wanna live til I die. And in so doing, there is no space for the accommodation of the ‘school night’: a concept so limiting and dull (and one that I’ve adhered to before and likely will again many times) that I’m anxious just thinking about school the next day and I don’t even go to school anymore. I haven’t been to school for fifteen years. Yet the apprehension is the same: school tomorrow, must calm down and rest and sleep. Because tomorrow.
But it’s like…this isn’t life. I mean it is – it’s the scaffold of ‘life’. A winning life where everyone is well-rested and lives on the weekends. Children who are tame in the week and get to slack off on Saturdays. I dunno. It’s not that this is bad way to think, but it’s just not what I want to do – I don’t want my children to have to dread the next day, to learn to live their lives in tomorrow; the horizon of tomorrow – a time in the future that recedes as they approach it.
So there’s’ that – tomorrow never comes. Or tomorrow is now. Or tomorrow is all around us.
But there’s also the thing that life doesn’t happen in school. Sure, a shared cultural heritage happens, the passing on of information happens and some socialising happens. Eating communally happens, playing happens. But life doesn’t end at school kick-out time and, I dunno, call me new-age but I just don’t want to restrict wild-time to weekends, sunny weekends.
And while I’m here, we bemoan work hours, schedules, how busy we all are, so I sort of feel it’s my duty to give the kids – as far as possible – a different experience, to see the possibilities and what we can get done, the fun we can get down to, when we pretend tomorrow isn’t happening. And indeed it isn’t, not right now.
I can get so bogged-down in the oppressive construct of the ‘school night’. I bring it upon us! My fears about tomorrow, my apprehension about whether we’ll all be alright on slightly less sleep and a lot more fun than normal. It creeps in and takes over like Quorn sausage and hash browns creep into all of our meals towards the end of term, when we’ve exhausted all the well-balanced options in the cupboard/fridge/freezer.
This week is the summer Solstice. We are going to the beach. We are wearing the goddamn sun crowns they took 45 minutes of cutting out of cornflakes boxes to make. We are thanking the sun for keeping us warm and helping our plants to grow, for rising in the morning and setting in the evening giving us several hours of daylight to enjoy before and after school.
Today, school day or no, we are living.