Life Is The Bits That You Don’t Plan – 1st day back at school!

Life is the stuff that happens – in-between our plans!

Yesterday – The first day at school, look at him in his lovely (but bordering on the acutely hideous) uniform; A new attire of brand new school blazer and trousers with clean white shirt and there he is. Our little 3 year old has suddenly grown up standing in the hall with his brothers and sisters admiring him in his new, but suitably revolting new school colours. He can’t wait to go to his first day of school (nor can mum or dad!). I run to get the iphone to take my little son’s picture as I can’t believe what I am seeing here. My little toddler just grew up!

All set for the first day of school term for all five kids to go. Bags ready, 10,000 flipping nametags sown on by mum and dad (very badly). New shoes with accompanying plasters in the bags for imminent blisters, pack lunches made and sorted with nut free bars, lessons in tying shoe laces for football boots; and remembering how to tie their ties for classrooms. Pencils, sharpeners and self-erasing ink pens and the most useless imaginable items of all time ever made by mankind – the protractors are even not forgotten. We flippin’ done it! Mum and dad feel proud we have it all sorted and yes, believe it or not, less arguments than last year too. What a result! Fail to plan and you plan to fail, I am thinking as I load the car with school bags, so heavy, that children can hardly flipping lift!

This is preparation on par with the most complex military maneuver, yes we are ready for the first day of war (I mean school) and we are ready for the front line. 14 years of this nonsense and we are good at this. I wonder though if we can be on time at all this year. Last year we were late every day of the week for the kid’s school. But there was good reason. My eldest daughter really, really was not happy.

It’s a perfectly planned day. All planned – dad to take the 4 others to school and mum to take the little one to his new first day at school in his pressed blazer and oh my Friday Lighters, what a sight he is indeed; fit for tea and perfectly baked biscuits with the Queen. And he too can’t wait to go, which is even more of a spectacular result on our parenting achievements.

Well no not quite all set (the shells start landing) as our eldest daughter is in fits now at breakfast (I mean almost real fits, no kidding) saying she is never ever going back to school and she will have panic attacks, like every week if she does return. She doesn’t look good, we are thinking. “OK well let me try and sort this out in a minute sweetheart.” I said to her as I jumped into the car, now with one less kid and leaving my daughter at the breakfast table. How was I going to find another school for her in err, like 24 hours? I wondered, as I helped the other kids load up the car to head into the morning’s traffic

Or at least this is the plan. The plan was also for me to go to the hospital too, for a knee check up after my rather painful knee operation a few days ago. Many of you have asked about it last week (thank you) and how it went? Well actually badly. I am in far more pain than before the operation and almost crippled. I can’t really go up the stairs and cancelled all travel. If you imagine a small bladed penknife being stuck into the back of your knee at random, hey that’s me folkes! But there are so many things happening right now, it’s just another mild inconvenience – being a crippled dad.

‘Life happens in the gaps that you plan things.’ Or others say fail to plan and then plan to fail. Well the plan was that my daughter was going to school today and the plan was that I was going to hospital. But actually today, I am so tired I can barely write. It was not me that was on the cards for the hospital!

So there it came another shell – a midday call from a person that we didn’t know, to say it’s about our 3 year old son (the one in the new uniform). ‘ He has been taken to hospital with a head injury. He is with his teachers at the emergency ward.’ What! But he had only been at school for two hours in his entire life, what the hell!

My wife called me at work. She selected herself to go. “Angus you can hardly walk, I’ll go.” She said.

Jeez what a joke, how bad is that? I can’t even hobble in to rescue my son in hospital! And then, what about my hospital appointment for my knee? What about my daughter at home in fits about school? What about me? What about another life on an island in Scotland instead please? Our military defenses are being battered with the most brilliantly timed shells.

So we elected my wife to go to the hospital and see if our little three-year old is alive and find out what the head wound was. And I was to sort out the teenage school refusal problems because it was literally a ‘sitting down job’. “Don’t worry honey.” I say over dry toast. “It will all be fine.” Thinking how the hell will it be fine? As I wonder if my son really is OK. I start phoning schools, the day’s battle continues. “Dad please, I can’t go back there,” with tears in her eyes.

I can’t get through to my wife in the hospital. Is my son OK? Then the call comes. “Angus, he has a deep cut to the front of his head, they are gluing it together or something, He’s OK.” That was the words I needed ‘he’s OK’. I picked up the remains of Angus Kennedy off the kitchen able and continued with the day. Cancel my hospital get Lorna to see new headmaster yes, get up and hobble around and go! Come on! Injured but not slain, keep going.

And now at last I am sitting here in the evening and the day is over. The Sausage dog is licking the blood off the brand new discarded uniform next to me (now ruined) and for pudding, licking the scabs off our son’s face for good measure. He’s loving it! He’s fine and sports a handsome but very deep cut, stitched up an sorted.

Our daughter’s old school has been amazing (they helped Lorna find a new school). I didn’t stop till we got her one. It’s all happened in a day, a single bloody day. It’s true, we plan when someone else is making the plans. I didn’t quite plan it all though. We forgot the crash helmet for our son.

I am still standing, sort of. Again battered, crippled, and taken to the depths of dark areas of my imagination again in 24 hours. That’s just one day back on the first day of school. One day of the 356.

I hope I have a better Friday than my Thursday! I do have some amazing things happening on the way. I pray they will happen. I am still living the dream (even if it is in my imagination!).

I am with my family and that’s all that will ever matter.

Yours with care!


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