…… from the dourest of coupons, and I should know.
But often it comes out of the blue, as surprising as it is uplifting. And so it was, as I wandered in laden with briefcases and shopping bags after indulging in some light relief after the hygienist did her periodic bit on my gums. Dinner was running late; the kitchen in chaos as raspberry jam and wheaten scones both made debuts, which may have been something to do with the Rural. Whatever, they went well together, the scones and jam that is.
So there I was, tired and hungry, perhaps even verging on the grumpy – yes I know it’s hard to believe, but it does happen, occasionally – when Urchin the Younger runs through. This in itself is unusual as the arrival home of one parent or other is usually met with little more than a grunt, and only then if you block the sightline between wii controller and screen. Look what I won….. reading, was all that sank in, as a goody bag of pencils and colouring sheets, books, and bags and bags of haribo tumbled onto the floor.
Fantastic, good on you – and eventually his success in the summer reading programme, Creepy House, at the local library turned out to be the provider of said goodies. It was a competition within schools, and among schools. I knew that on the last visit before term started he’d found one more Horrid Henry than big sis could find in her Rainbow Magics. But she seemed cheery, with her own certificate for completing the programme. How many, from your school? A response of a trifling six surprised me a little, especially as two of them were in the room. But then I realised that if every school had a 20% participation rate the programme had probably exceeded expectations.
Elder Urchin was quiet. Beaten by one book, thought I, she might be narked. But not a bit of it. Reading she was, engrossed.
And it was only later that I found, in a dark corner of the room that can resemble a cave at times, an Achievement Award, her own little recognition of goodness handed out in school that same day. For Being a Confident Individual it says. But it doesn’t end there – Lovely Singing. Now thankfully, for the rest of the school, these are the maternal genes coming through. And all those Saturday mornings with the am-dram boys have not been wasted. For she’s practising a solo, her first, for the next school showcase. Now if she learns to play piano like Diana Krall…..
Anyway reading prizes, that’s where we started. You know where it leads, more books, more shelves. And I can hear it already, again – no more, some of these have to go – which defies the very nature of collecting. And it’s best to start young of course. I’ve a little tale about that which might get an airing soon.
But there was revenge, noises in the night in fact. I turned over, the deaf ear. But others got up. Books were the culprit, creeping about in the night. Actually just a shelf collapsing, an over stacked bookcase, giving way, one of those flat pack things where the shelves rest on metal or plastic bits – useless. But it wasn’t one of mine, for it was the Scottish History and the Genealogy sections that came a cropper. Might just be the perfect excuse to replace a couple of poor bookcases with some better quality, increasing shelf space at the same time. Hmm, and the book fair in York is coming up too. More book addicts in the house. Who am I to complain?
Urchins, I digress. It’s those moments of unforseen joy that do it. And they make you realise that this current quest, this once in a lifetime opportunity, to shape the best nation we can, is all for them. And it’s the right thing to do. For they deserve it, demand it even, the best we can possibly do for them. And so shall it be.