Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Pollyanna, Anne of Green Gables, Alice in Wonderland, Songs of Innocence and Experience. They have all touched us, do they bring out the sentimental or the emotional. Country and Western or Opera?
Picking up grand daughter Octavia from her oh so smart Fulham prep school. It being my first time I got there early. Just a few mummies, not the yummy ones, they come later. Excitement, the businessman relaxed in his trainers and rucksack and his mother join me. The minutes tick away, the excitement mounts. The caretaker comes and unlocks the gate, the little darlings have been safe all day,now they are to be released back into the wild and their parents care.
The door opens and out they troupe into the real world. All day they have been in a charmed universe of sunshine and achievement. Octavia’s class the youngest come out first. Its one of the loveliest sights of the city. Innocence, joy, song and laughter on Blake’s Echoing Green. Four and five year olds in a line(see link Doiseneau’s famous picture),their uniforms smart but too big-they grow so quickly. They look up to see if a familiar face waits. They see, they light up, a nervous wave and they run towards Daddy, Daddy. Kisses and hugs all round.
Whats this, a gold star? What for? Writing?You are clever. Second this week. First was for sentencing. A yummy comes across. Gold star Octavia!. High fives. Oh the excitement, Octavia shrugs, smiles modestly, a life of glittering prizes awaits.
This is it. This is where the unbeatable start in the race of life is established. Research shows that by the time they are seven middle class kids are so far ahead in literacy and social skills that most in the lower classes are doomed to a lesser life. The ludicrous struggle to get into the best Manhattan nurseries ,which lead to the best prep, best secondary schools, best unis,best jobs,best partners,best lives,Yo!, these struggles are now commonplace in London’s leafy inner suburbs.
But Octavia is not yet five. When I asked her ,being totally unoriginal and without a parenting clue,what her favourite subject was? She said ,Colouring In. Why? Because I get to colour in. Dumb question. She later threw a fit when the businessman did not obey some unwritten rule in Whats the Time Mr Wolf?
Magic Moments, memories we’ve been sharing.