Monday, 5 September 2011

First Day


What is it about school uniform that suddenly makes them look so grown-up?

Gertie was very excited about starting school, and not in the least bit concerned by the transition; in fact she seemed to think her mother's slightly erratic and emotional behaviour distinctly odd at times, though she accepted the morning's photo shoot with a mature tolerance.

All went smoothly from her point of view, though there were two minor failures on my part: the carefully sewn-in name badge on her cardigan came off and I forgot her water-bottle.

She was so ready to go that I really had no worries about how she would get on. Yet a small part of me can't help thinking about what is lost. Just a few weeks ago she was asking why I never plaited her 'front hair' (she couldn't think of the word for 'fringe'), and why God was always so 'baggy'. It took me a little while to work out what she meant, until she pointed at the sleeves on her white shirt that were loose at the ends, "like this". All the representations she sees typically picture God or Jesus in white loose-fitting clothing.

The concrete construal reminds me of another story I heard where a school inspector asked a reception child what they were drawing. "God," replied the child. "But nobody knows what God looks like," challenged the inspector. "They will in a minute," responded the self-assured five-year-old.

But when Gertie came home yesterday she told me that we must always wash our hands when we have touched something that has been on the floor, even if we are not about to eat. (I knew I had been lapse at this parenting-lark) and that the planets are all spinning all the time but so slowly that our eyes cannot see them. Aggie MacKenzie and Professor Brian Cox would both be proud.

Mummy? Is proud and just a little sad...

Nearly 39 weeks pregnant: Wondering if it is just pregnancy hormones, but suspecting that the other 750,000 Mums were also a bit weepy this week
Currently reading: Annie Dunne
by Sebastian Barry

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