sports morning


This morning it was school sports morning. My son hoped it would be cancelled (again). I did too. Parents were welcome to watch, and as my son wanted me there, I felt obliged to attend. I prepared well. I downloaded a few podcasts, interviews available from ABC FM . I wore several jumpers and a scarf, so stayed warm in the chill Melbourne air. I remembered my camera, not because I expected to take good photos, but because I hope it gives a good impression. It would also prove my presence to my son if he did not spot me while participating in the activities.
So I was one of several parents sheltering from the light rainfall beneath one of several trees, happily listening to an interview while taking the occasional photo of my son, and feeling very glad that I was not a student having to stand around so much waiting for a turn at whatever activity they had moved to. I was also glad that I did not feel obliged to chat with the toxic mother who tends to talk to me when there is no-one else available. She is very rude, so while I would have ordinarily felt I was rude when I asked where her son was, then so obviously began to walk in the opposite direction towards mine while replacing the earphones of my MP3 player, with her I did not feel I was rude at all. I prefer to walk away from a poisonous person than feed whatever it is within them that turns information into ammunition.
Sometimes I resent the time I am expected to be present at school. Didn’t I attend enough when I was a child? And there seem to be so few hours I have to myself, and so much to fit into them, that I don’t want to spend that time hanging about watching school children doing something I would have loathed when I was at school. But there was no resentment this morning. Our house is close to unbearable during school hours at the moment, thanks to the cement mixer that has been parked in the laneway at the back of our house for a week now. I have been spending my days shopping. Some of it was pleasant, regular food shopping and lunch with friends. However, browsing in bookshops has become unpleasant due to the music they play too loudly and the headache I get if I look at books too long while wearing my regular glasses. I have had to spend time in other noisy shops too, and I am not fond of the artificial lighting, or the staff who seem to think I am a potential shoplifter, so follow me about asking if they can help me every minute or two. Online shopping has so much in its favour. Even the coat I bought a few months ago needed to be returned and replaced, so required an extra two trips. The post office is more convenient (not that I have ever bought clothes online, and I find now that I am tempted to make everything just to avoid entering clothing shops ever again).
So sports morning was a success, standing about in the rain, listening to an interview with a Swedish writer while taking the occasional photo, and being glad that I can choose how I take my exercise and when. It was also good to go home, to deal with a few chores, have a good coffee and finish reading a good book in the only quiet room in the house.

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