It’s a funny old thing, the school run.
With Boo now in Year 3, I’m into my fourth year of doing them, and to be honest, they felt like old-hat two weeks in, so nowadays they are very familiar ground. Of course, with Little Man recently starting in Reception, it’s added a new dimension to our mornings, but little’s really changed. Some new faces for me to get to know, and they are a lovely bunch.
The thing that I have noticed most about these daily pick-ups is the level of camaraderie that they bring.
It’s realising that some days, especially for someone like me who works alone from home, the school run chats might be the only ones you have that day. You might have a huge group of wonderful friends, but it’s actually these school run faces that are more familiar to you each day, these parents’ whose lives you know that little bit more intimately day by day.
For a major crisis, I have my mates, but they won’t know the little things, that Boo didn’t sleep well last night, that Little Man spilt all of his juice over him just as we were leaving for school, that I have a million things on my to-do list today, that Boo is coming down with a cold – you get the idea.
Every day you get these glimpses into people’s daily reality, the people that you like to see each day. You see the mum rushing in at the last minute, harassed and stressed, so you offer up a smile, a smile of camaraderie. Who hasn’t had a morning like that? You see the mum with a toddler on their knees, refusing to move another step further and letting the whole world know about it, so you offer up a smile, a smile of camaraderie. We all had toddlers! You see the mum reaching the gates before realising that they’ve left the lunchbox at home, so you offer up a smile, a smile of camaraderie. There are so many things to remember some days!
The relationship that you have with these mums is a little bit special. These are the people that you call on when your little one is poorly, these are the ones that you share your woes over with over piles of homework, these are the ones that you tear up with as you watch your child and all of their friends in their school assembly, these are the ones that you rely upon so that you don’t forget any of the many things we need to – please don’t let my child be the one whose mum forgets it’s a non-uniform day!
These mums become surrogate aunts to your kids. They pick them up if they’re nearest to them when they fall, they cheer and celebrate if they come out with an award, they look out for them at parties and events, they take them into school if they’re called upon. They come to care about your children as you come to care about theirs.
And maybe, just maybe, if you’re really lucky as I have been, some of these parents will end up becoming really rather wonderful friends, friends you can’t now imagine being without.
It is a funny old thing, the school run.