“I wish I could go by my own” said The Youngest indignantly.
Now, I’m not used to this malarkey as The Eldest has anxieties on top of his anxieties, it is most unlikely that he will walk himself to or from school any time soon. He wants to, he wants to walk home alone, with some money to go to the shop and buy chocolate, but says he’s not ready yet. I offered him a friend to walk with but still he said no. This is fine by me, it will come. Inside him is the heart of a warrior, I know this because he fights every day, he fights to overcome his many fears and he succeeds most days.
As for her. Inside her is the heart of an adventurer, the heart of a fearless adventurer, a blooming great fearless sodding adventurer. One which doesn’t appear to want to give me any time to adjust either. Talk about from one extreme to another, jeez. Anyhoo, this is how it went down.
“I wish I could go by my own”
We were four streets away from her school, she is five.
“Mummy will get into trouble with the police if I let you walk to school by your own”
“No you won’t!”
“Yes I will. Ask teacher if you can walk to school on your own”
We walk for a bit in complete silence.
“Pretend you don’t know me then!”
So I pretend not to know her whilst struggling to keep a straight face. We get to school. The Youngest stops me outside the gates.
“Leave me here”
“No. I cannot leave you outside the gates, I have to come in”
I’m allowed in to the playground, just. Off she goes leaving a broken heart in her wake. It was horrible watching that tiny person just go, she didn’t look back, she is an arse, an evil, brave, confident, marvellous little arse.
I write a note to the school explaining my situation secretly hoping I will be told that this is just not on, that a five year old should be escorted to the door, that I’m a terrible mother and so on. Alas this was not to be. They think it’s great that she wants to be independent, so long as I lurk until she’s inside the building they are happy for the arse to take herself into school. Oh bugger!
So, most mornings I pretend not to know her. Occasionally I am allowed to speak to her as if I were a stranger making polite conversation with another stranger.
“Morning” I say cheerfully.
“Morning, what’s your name?” she will ask.
I will make someone up, someone exotic, and we will chat our merry way to school. Sometimes she will allow me to walk her to her classroom but I let her decided which days those are. I’m just the person who walks ten steps behind her ready to catch her if she falls and I’m happy to be that person for as long as she allows.
Of course, once she thinks she’s no need of me, I shall hide behind trees and bushes, head to toe in camouflage combat gear, ever ready, just in case.