As the blur of August came to a close last year and September was looming overhead, I suddenly found myself with the insecurities of a child starting school for the very first time. Asking the questions, do I have the right kind of shoes? Will the others like me? Or will I be left alone until the bells rings out sanctuary?
Was I starting a new job?
Was I moving to a new country?
I was simply doing what every other mother has to do at some point in their lives…
The School Run.
Except for me it was a little more strange, I was crossing THE PARENT LINE. And not, for once, to tell little Johnny’s granny that he had weed himself again today or to explain to Gertrude’s dad why one of her pigtails was missing.
This time, I was standing as a long term albeit temporary fixture for the first time ever – being just me. Just a mum. And I’m not afraid to admit, the prospect was rather terrifying!
Where to stand? Do you make eye contact? Is there a certain clique to join/avoid? I found myself in unchartered territory and I was scared.
There came one fateful day when my darling little red-head was showing her darling red-head temper and just. Would. Not. Stop. Crying.
And there was a voice, amidst the screaming
“would you like to pop in mine and feed her?”
I could have cried on the spot. A helping hand, a lovely, caring, Good Samaritan offering a seat, some peace and a nice cool glass of water.
From that day I allowed myself to take a breath and look around me – familiar faces; parents whose children I had taught, parents from baby groups and boobie groups and all the rest of it. And they had friends, and THEY had friends and cool glasses of water in desperate circumstances soon changed to cups of tea, cake, Marks and Spencer’s toasties, cake, More baby groups, more tea, cake and good old gossip sessions, Nights out down the local pub (child free, occasionally – I KNOW!!!)
And now, without me realising, September is once again looming and I’ll be crossing back over that fateful yellow line for part of my week. But now I know that each Thursday and Friday when I am returned to being “just me, just a mum” when it comes to swimming with the sharks, this time I’ll have a little rubber ring around me in the form of these lovely friends I have made. So a big thank you to all of the lovely ladies who have been there, and to the many who will join us in the future as our Thursday tea group gets bigger (!)
And the Good Samaritan? Well, she just can’t get rid of me now!