Andrew Hoyle: Daddy Cool
Our oldest boy will be going into Primary Four, his little brother Primary Two and their sister embarking on her first term at nursery. Good God, where do the years go?
Admittedly, I am wearing my rose-tinted spectacles as I write this, but I have rather enjoyed my days out with the little rascals, and haven't missed the usual morning squabble-fest involved in getting everyone washed, dressed, breakfasted and off to school.
One of the highlights of the hols came unexpectedly last Sunday with a trip on a bus. But this was no ordinary bus: the vehicle in question was The Red Bus, an original 1962 Routemaster from London, the only one of its kind in Edinburgh, which usually transports guests to birthday parties or weddings, but has been turned into Fringe Venue 333 hosting puppet shows, singing and storytelling. And this was no ordinary trip: it was the Edinburgh Festivals Cavalcade through Holyrood Park.
With Mummy Cool committed to working that day, Granny Cool was called into action as a much-needed extra pair of hands, and five of us arrived uncharacteristically with time to spare. We boarded the bus and hung streamers out the windows.
The children took turns at sitting in the driver's cab and tooting the horn, and our eldest son donned a real conductor's hat. The bus then edged into the parade. By this point the children were practically levitating with excitement - and so was I.
Having lived in Edinburgh for the best part of 40 years, I thought I'd pretty much seen everything the city had to offer, but this was something else.
Tens of thousands of smiling people waving and cheering at the bus and its passengers, happy children waving back, endless renditions of The Wheels On The Bus, chocolate biscuits to keep energy levels up - and the sun shining. Can it get any better?
Here's hoping the wheels on The Red Bus keeping going round and round for many years to come.
This article was first published in Scotland on Sunday, August 15, 2010