A reflection of summer. Does this sound familiar?

A Reflection of Summer

July and August see the family arrive
Like bees round a honey pot fresh from the hive
Hello mum, Hello Dad
Hello Grandma, Hello Granddad
It’s great to see you and we feel so glad
We are here for our holiday all crazy and mad
It all kicks off here and we are full of good cheer.

Is the fridge full?
Are the beds made?
Remember the kids will need some shade
Did you get the factor 50 cream we asked you for?
As burning skin we cannot ignore
We could not bring our cream on the flight
So have you bought it, perfect, oh that’s just right…
We had trouble at the airport with the car we’ve hired
And our journey here has made us tired
Perhaps a sleep would now be best
Look after your grandkids please while we have a rest
Be sure to wake us in time for tea
And tomorrow we’ll do tea just wait and see.

The house looks lovely
You must have been busy
Cleaning and scrubbing
Until you were dizzy
Don’t worry Mum
The kids will be fine
It really won’t be long
Till your house looks like mine!
Shoes on the floor
And some more by the door
Some in the garden
And there could be more
In the bedroom
In the car
Not any in pairs
But no one cares.

Oh Mum did you get the right sized nappies
Oh great Mum, thanks, I feel so happy
The high chairs and pushchairs and bikes you have bought
Are perfect for the kids and all the right sort
Thanks Grandma and granddad you are great sports
You always do things with lots of thought.

So all starts well but not for long
As the days pass by
Things will surely go wrong
First it’s the car
Can we use it for a while?
We promise not to go for mile after mile
The car arrives home all in one piece
For which Granddad gives a sigh of relief
Before the tank had fuel a plenty
But now the gauge shows nearly empty
Dad will fill it when he next uses the car
The garage in the village is not very far.

We are 2 weeks in
And there’s that familiar din
Of little footsteps running around
It usually is a pleasant sound
But at 2 in the morning I am not so sure
Do we really have to suffer any more?

The pool looks dirty can you give it a clean
Do it now Dad and don’t be mean
We all want to swim and play
Oh, what a beautiful day
We can lounge on the plage in the afternoon sun
Oh we are having so much fun
Will it be a BBQ again for our tea?
We will just have to wait and see.
Oh how we love it here
Dad, can you fetch us another beer?

The fridge looks empty when will you shop?
You should go early before it gets hot.
Get something nice please for the kids and us
But don’t make too much fuss.
We really enjoy all the meals that you cook
Especially that one from the new recipe book.
You remember, the one on page 33
The one you did yesterday for our tea.

It’s raining today, is that normal here?
We thought you had sunshine all the year
What can we do on a day inside?
Perhaps play some games? Granddad sighed.
Perhaps we’ll go out
For a trip round about
Did you fill up the car Dad? Thanks a lot
We are so pleased that you hadn’t forgot.
We’ll leave the kids here with the both of you
You can all play games, oh and they will need the loo!

Our friends are travelling all around France
We told them to call if passing, perchance
They arrive in the morning just for the day
We told them you’d be happy for them to stay
It will be nice for us all to be together
Let’s just hope that it’ll be good weather
Their friends arrived and had a ball
And gave their thanks to one and all
The fridge was full the day before
But that’s not the case any more
The supermarket trip beckons the following day
I think of my wallet with some dismay.

Time moves on and soon we see
Just how much longer it will be
When they pack to leave and peace descends
Another holiday soon to end
There’s talk of new schools and the daily grind
It’s really not fair having to leave this behind
It’s ok for you two all through the year
To live here in France with a life of good cheer
You lounge around and do what you like
While we toil through life, it’s such a hike
Ah, don’t forget though that we were once you
Doing all the things that you have to do
Now we’re retired peace and quiet is our aim
Our life only now is mostly a game
A successful future is surely your aim
And when that day comes you will enjoy the same.

Thanks for a lovely holiday dear Mum and Dad
We had the best time we’ve ever had
Thanks Grandma and Granddad for a lovely stay
We will see you soon another day
Christmas is really not that far away
Yes, well book it to come back straight stay
How exciting that will surely be
All gathered around the Christmas Tree
It’s just 4 months till we’ll all be reunited
Grandma and Granddad, you must be so excited.

They have all gone home and all is quiet
No more noise and no more riots
There’s a massive pile of washing now to face
But tomorrow will do, we don’t have to race
While the washing is airing and out on the line
It’s now our time for a glass of wine
We reflect on the summer now fading away
And brace ourselves for the next time they stay.

John Hall