Getting ready to leave the gym (yes the GYM) yesterday morning, I receive a phone call. I look at my mobile; E’s school shows as the caller. 

It’s still early, not even 10 am. I think: Has he fallen over? Missed the bus?

Hello, a voice says, this is Mrs F  on Reception calling from school.

Yes? I say. Hello?

Good morning! She’s sounding incredibly cheerful. I visualise her face: rather wise looking, endlessly good-natured, nobody’s fool — and hugely efficient. I have a phone here, she starts, and I’m tracking down who it belongs to.

Yes? I still don’t get it.

You’re listed on it as ‘Mum’.

Mum. I feel like I’ve won a prize. I’m his mother. I really am.

Yes, that’s right, I say, that’s me. Bless him.

She laughs. 


For the curious among you, he’d left it in the library. Where he goes to read the paper every morning before registration. The Independent being his current favourite….