In the evening when I collect my 4 year old from after school club and it is gone 6pm before we sit down for dinner and do reading, I know she’s too tired to concentrate and to learn.
When I drop them at breakfast club without their hair brushed and don’t walk all the way down the path because I am already late for an early conference call.
When I am listening to them talk about their day whilst simultaneously cooking dinner and checking my work email.
Hard choices are always there. Being a human is full of hard choices. Today I had to choose between a dinosaur dig or senior management meeting.
As we approached the school, sprog 2.0 in her civvies all ready for day on the school field digging for dinosaur bones, we realised she was the only one without a bucket and spade. I’d skipped past a couple of kids in their uniform who’s mums had forgotten, thanking God that wasn’t me and feeling fairly smuggety smug and accomplished only to realise, she’d be the kid who had to wait her turn and share a spade. Instead of throwing herself into the activity 100%, she’d be the only one without her own bucket. She’s like I was, this kid. These things matter. They’re the shit you remember. The shit you remind your mum of when you’re older.
So I drove round the petrol stations and bought a bucket and spade having left child, eyes brimming, at school for the day and dropped it into school for her. This meant I was late. Late for an important meeting.
I’d usually choose the meeting but today I couldn’t.
Hard choices. But I think I chose right this time.