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Growing Pains - Back to School

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
Growing Pains -  Back to School
Fear gripped me. Mid-dream and half asleep, I slipped out of bed in response to the screaming child in the next room. I tried to hurry, but my heart was pounding out of my chest, I could hardly catch my breath and my legs wouldn’t move properly. He sat upright, wide eyes staring straight ahead at something scary, mouth open, continuous screaming. He was otherwise quite still.  I wrapped my arms around him, stroked his silky hair, made soothing noises and rocked him gently.  Night terrors, bless him, my little son. They continued for a while and terrified me more than him. I never got used to it happening and never found a proper reason.  He wouldn’t know anything about it, but my night was disturbed and my head filled with indescribable horrors that prevented me getting back to sleep long after he was settled.  He was about three years old, maybe only two and a half.  Perhaps his brain was working overtime, the events of his busy day filling his head with all sorts. Maybe it was a form of growing pains. He soon grew out of it. Later this week he will be thirty.  I am proud of him, and myself for getting something right along the way.
My daughter’s growing pains were physical and very real. Again, it was a night time thing, but she was older and could yell out that her legs were hurting. Double Calpol and lots of rubbing did the trick. She could settle back to sleep. I would be wide awake. I thought ‘growing pains’ was something made up, but our doctor was certain that was her ailment and she would grow out of it. She has.
At last, children have been able to return to school. It’s been too long a break, six months for most infants. I’m confident that schools are as safe as they can possibly be and I’m delighted to see my eldest grandson happy in his reception class where he is in the process of moving to Year 1. He loves school so much, it was awful to have it taken away from him. He understood about the ‘germs’ and needing to protect each other, but he missed everything. I enjoyed playing games, reading to him and doing little lessons to keep him on track with what he had learned so far, but as time went on, he needed the dynamics of his teacher, the surroundings of his inspirational classroom and to socialise with his friends.  He proudly tells me he is in the Giraffe ‘bubble’ and they do everything together. He’s happy. I hope all the children are, especially anyone who has been feeling unhappy in these difficult times.  Lockdown has brought plenty of invisible growing pains.
One of my favorite wordsmiths and fellow Mancunian, Mike Garry,
I called her Mam once Sat on the carpet With arms folded and legs crossed Fingers on my lips In that special place She would eclipse Where she'd read me poems Tell me tales Sing me songs And like a fish to it's source I'd be drawn in
I loved the way she'd hold the book So that I could see the pictures And the way she'd slowly move it from side to side So that the naughty kids at the back could see She told us we were allowed to dream
She got us to act out plays I remember doing Finnegan's Wake Told us about Shaw, Shakespeare and Joyce and Yeats I was eight But in that classroom her voice was sweet music Echoing prayer and hymn Story and songs She was a living angel But you'd know if you'd done wrong
She took us on school trips To castles with moats across oceans with boats And we would float Without ever leaving the room Loved the way she made the simple act of reading of the class register Sound like the most beautiful song tune Simply by the way she'd validate childrens names by saying Katherine Theresa Patricia and James Sometimes she'd get me to close my eyes Imagine worlds beyond the sky She told me one "Michael, It's alright to cry"
And her eyes were seaside blue sunshine But in that rainy, 1970's black and white Moss Side Where my messed up life would disappear The very second she walked into the room She made my insignificant life Signify
And she taught me that the more I read the more I see The more I see the more I know The more I know that more I grow The more I grow the more I am And I would give the world and all its riches To simply hold that woman's hand one more time And say thanks "Thanks"
Mike Garry
Thank for reading, Pam x
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