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And so begins the next chapter. For them, for me, for us. First day for Mr G and first day in year 2 for Miss L. Dad and Mr A came along, as we were marking the ‘end of an era’.
I shed a tear or two, as we were leaving the house I took this photo, and it took me back to a much older photo of Mr A with a newborn G.
That was the only moment of hesitation, it is so much easier having been through L starting school.
Dad introduced himself to L’s new teacher as Penny’s Grandad, rather than L’s Grandad, aw, those days are long gone Dad! But you can listen in to them here, I was on BBC Radio talking to Mark Forrest about my earliest school memories, it starts at around 02.32.15.
Dad said leaving G was very different to his first day in an overcrowded post war primary. He didn’t get visits or inductions, just Grandma taking him along one day and leaving him with the headmistress. He was the only boy starting, as children started straight after their birthdays.
In my mind I can see my Grandma with her butterfly wing glasses, huge handbag and coat, the stern headmistress and a grey post war playground. The scene is in black and white, my dad inbetween as the two ladies pull on his arms like the scene in the Caucasian chalk Circle where they try to decide who the child’s real mother is. Of course Grandma, would have let him go (so as not to hurt his arm), but what a wrench it must have been.
The actual dropping him off bit was wonderfully cheerful, very few tears and lots of children waving us off. Dad, Mr A and I went for a celebratory breakfast in the garden of a local cafe.
Mr G had a good morning, he wouldn’t tell me much, but he told Mr A on the phone that he’d played with the safari animals and fire engines and made some friends.
After L finished a full day at school and pronounced her new teacher great, Dad took us to Pizza Express, we sat outside in the glorious sunshine and we toasted everyone’s new start. Wonderful day, I’m just hoping the novelty doesn’t wear off!