Thursday, 21 October 2010
Having a back to primary school moment. The freezer's full, and so's the pantry, there's a snap in the air and a thin crackle of frost underfoot. The girls went to school with thick snuggly blankets around their legs. Breathing out brings a cloud of mist, and breathing in brings clean cold wakefulness. The house smells of Gingernuts and lemon curd and sweet apples mulling gently. The craft fair is on, the pile of necessary knitting is growing faster than the blanket I need to finish before I can start on the rest of it, my winter coat has found its way out of the wardrobe, and the girls have gloves again.
And I hear the piano chords, and I'm jog-trotting to school behind Mum pushing the pram, pausing to shatter the thin lace of ice gathered at the edge of puddles, kicking small mountains of leaves up through the air and gathering the best to make leaf prints. A glorious burst of colour, new life and energy after the heat of the summer. Tingly ears and wind in my hair, the promise of excitements to come with Christmas close enough to be thought about but far enough away to just be the sniff of a hint of something possibly exciting.
In the playground, French elastic and giant skipping ropes and hopscotch and endless games of tig. In the classroom, walls a riot of colour and complicated sums about how many leaves it will take to fill a sack if each sack needs three loads from the wheelbarrow, and each wheelbarrow holds 45 leaves. At home, baked potatoes and the promise of bonfires and fireworks, gingerbread and parkin.
And now, thirty years later, it's my daughter enjoying that same Autumn snappiness, and celebrating it with her own picture, beautifully signed without any help from others.