Across (largely) England and Wales, I mean? That hissing sound that's getting louder and louder and louder with every anxious hour?
Do you know what it is? It's the collective sucking in of breath by parents of children in school. For, over the next few days, children will finish school until September. September! That's a whole other season away, isn't it?
I view long holidays with a mixture of joy and trepidation. Joy that the morning rush with recalcitrant children is over for a few weeks at least, that I can turn the alarm off on my phone that I have set in case I ignore the clock radio, that I don't have to clockwatch all day to ensure I don't forget to collect them from school and see how far I can push it. ( I may have left at 3.30 to pick them up on the odd occasion this year but only on days they have afternoon assembly. School finishes at 3.30, we live a 5 mins drive away.) Trepidation because what are we going to do for 6 weeks? Trepidation that they will just drive me mad and each other mad. Trepidation that I will get no work done at all. Trepidation that it will just rain for 6 weeks and we'll all go stir crazy.
In reality, I realise I am very lucky that my work allows me to be at home with them during the holidays. We have plenty to do, including trips to two Olympic events, the Olympics themselves, a wedding, several parties, a christening (I think), a summer dance school for Missy Woo. No doubt we will be 3 weeks in when we realise that we need to get ready for going back to school. The children are growing up fast and more able to entertain themselves every day. Last week, Monkey was off sick with a bad cough and although it was disruptive to me, he did amuse himself quite a bit.
Still, it doesn't stop me joining in the collective sucking in of breath as parents brace themselves for the holiday. Come September, you'll hear the sound of parents letting out that breath in a sigh of relief.
In the meantime, we're holding our collective breath and crossing our fingers behind our backs.
Wish me luck.