#147 Schooled

I need to do an excitement wee, but I’m driving. My son has a change of clothes in his school bag, but not me. I suppose if I wee myself I could take my trousers off and wear my coat around my middle like a kilt, but that would be an odd way for a parent to arrive with his child at pre-school for the first time.

And I’m thinking, ‘What if my son hates pre-school? Who’s going to cuddle him when he’s upset? What if he needs me and I’m not there, what’ll he do? He’ll be scared. It’s PE today! On his first day! My son can’t change into his PE kit on his own. He’s never done it before. It would be like him suddenly starting to fly, or, I dunno, eating a carrot. As in, completely impossible. He needs me. Nobody knows him like me. Maybe I should turn the car around and just drive home.’

I know this all sounds bonkers, but here’s the thing. Kids destroy your life, smash it to bits irrevocably. This sounds like a bad thing. Well it is, but in return you get the astonishing privilege of raising an actual person. You don’t know what the hell you’re doing, so not surprisingly this task becomes your life. Everything else pales in comparison. Then at some point you have a revelation. Not a particularly nice one. You realise that the whole point of being a parent is to slowly let your children go. It’s not fair. It’s definitely too soon. I really should just turn around and go home.

These are the kinds of ridiculously over emotional thoughts I’m having as I drive my son to his first day at pre-school, both of us trying not to do an excitement wee.

He hugs my legs then is led off into the throng before I can bend down to kiss him. I loose sight of him. He’s gone.

“He had a lovely first day.” The nursery teacher tells me when I come to pick him up a few hours later. I’m an emotional wreck. “He changed into his PE kit all on his own. Wouldn’t let me help him.” She says.

My mouth hangs open. Inconceivable. He can’t do anything without me.

“Didn’t want his pasta, but he liked his snack.” She says.

“What was your snack, son?” I ask him.

“A Carrot.” He grins. “Yummy.”

OK. Where have you got my son?

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