There was no first day back at school photo from me on social media this year. There wasn’t time, they just rushed out the door to the bus stop after hurriedly emptying last years books from their bags and finding the new pens and pencils I bought ages ago at the the start of the holidays, when it seemed we had so much time. Luckily the P.E. kits that I didn’t wash until Tuesday and left on the line in the rain until yesterday morning have dried. Charlie’s school trousers are wrinkled because I left it to him to put them in his wardrobe and he did it 12 year old boy style, ramming them in a screwed up ball above the rail. Harrison’s trousers are too short because although I bought him some new ones we didn’t get round to talking the old ones out of his wardrobe and he put those on this morning – there was no time to change. They’ve got the same old school jumpers which might look a bit tatty but still fit because I bought them big enough for them to grow into. (They’ll possibly still be growing into them when they leave school!) As I watched them cross the road I had a sudden pang of longing for them, and guilt laden anxiety – did I give them enough time over the holidays? Did we do enough fun things together? Did I talk to them enough about how they feel about going back to school? Have I topped up the dinner money account? Will they get in trouble for not being able to find a ruler this morning? Am I a terrible mother for not having sorted such things out ages ago? How will I adjust to not having them around all day again? The last thing they yelled to me across the road was ‘LOVE YOU!’ then they didn’t look back like they used to, just trotted off confidently in their wrinkled and ankle flapping trousers – I’m doing ok! I’m a tearful mess but ok!