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Oh, how things have changed!

Updated: Jun 18

I remember being on holiday in 2019, with a then one and two year old, and I happened to spot another family at the poolside, whose children were a bit older…and READING!

They were actually sat STILL.


It was such an alien sight to behold, especially against the backdrop of my never-sitting-still then-reality (the likes of which is a given for the first five - maybe six - years of parenting.)

I looked at these children with their novels, and their relaxed, reclining parents, and allowed myself, for a moment, to believe that this scene might be a prophecy!

A brief split second of bigger-picture perspective, through the lens of which, the impermanence of feeling run-ragged, came into sharper focus.

Fast forward five years, and in true epiphany form, I find myself with my feet up, basking in the glow of no longer having to play shadow by the poolside.

My daughter is reading…and I am observing, pensively, wondering at what point in the last half-decade, I blinked and got to this.

From a wellness perspective, the outcomes of having to be less ‘helicopter’ on holiday are subtle… but far-reaching. A week in the sun has returned to its former relaxing glory (to an extent!), and the old ‘holiday to recover from the holiday’ trope is losing relevance.

In its place, I find other cliches are seizing their opportunity to fill the void.

Especially the one about ‘18 summers’, although I resent the intrusion, particularly as it plays on the modern currency of ‘mum guilt.’

One I dislike less, and might even go so far as to say I LOVE, is the German idea of ‘Marmeladenglasmomente’ that holidays with older children seem to be the perfect recipe for.

It means, roughly translated, the memories which are so full of happiness and joy, that you wish you could capture them in a jam jar.

This particular book-by-the-poolside moment, among with many others, is a ‘Marmeladenglasmomente,’ if ever there was one.

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