School Ran

At a very rough estimate, I’ve walked 3000 miles between home and school in the past six years.

2500 of them behind a pushchair bedecked with bags and scooters and not-quite-dry works of art.

Almost all of them with my head swivelling Exorcist-style to take in the threats my children just don’t see.

Lots bowed under a cagoule hood while rain dripped down my nose.

Too many to count spent cajoling and – on occasion, berating – so that we would get there or back on time.

No, we can’t go to the park.

No, we’re not buying sweets.

Watch where you’re going.

Give it a rub, you’re alright.

IT’S A ROAD!

*******************

I must have spent over 200 hours waiting outside classroom doors to relinquish or claim children at the start and end of the school day.

Stay next to me.

Have you got your lunchbag?

Where’s your coat?

*******************

I can’t begin to calculate the permutations of handholding. Three times two times me times three.

Pulling along.

Squeezing a shared secret.

That no-nonsense grip we both know means Just You Wait Till We Get Home.

*******************

Snippets of conversations with friends as we drift along together  in the eddy of the school run only to get separated in the rapids of one or other of the children shooting off in a different direction.

Bumped calves.

Heels scooted against.

Smiles across the playground.

The same joke with the lollipop man, day in, day out.

**************************

Six years. A thousand memories.

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