Along with untameable hair and inability to tie shoelaces properly, younger son has inherited my tendency to worry pointlessly about unimportant matters. Today’s worry is impending cross-country race at school. Try to explain that It Is Not The End Of The World if he puts in a disappointing performance, but can see he does not believe me. Suddenly reminded of own ten year old self, baffled by mother’s suggestion that other people perhaps had bigger worries than being told off by Miss Smith for lack of name tape on school socks.

Put aside melancholy reminiscences with some vigorous housework and long walk with friend; discuss flooring, jeans, and the surprisingly colourful pasts of many older ladies in the village. See a group of them as I return home, piling into a car with much teasing and merriment, and feel for once quite optimistic about ageing.

Son returns from school full of renewed enthusiasm for P.E. in general and cross-country in particular. Realise, with relief, that he is in fact very different from me.

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