Never Alone

Walking to what I call work this morning I passed a primary ("junior" in the UK) school just as the bell had gone to call all the kids into classroom to start their day.

There were a number of kids in adult hands still turning up and I wandered through a small throng of parents 'catching up', "Oh hiya", " Hey, how are you?", "Great thanks, how was the weekend?", " Fantastic thanks we ...". Have you noticed how "Facebook" these conversations are?

As I turned to a familiar voice (I was mistaken, it wasn't her), I was drawn to a small boy standing just inside the school gates. My heart leapt.

He had his backpacked back turned away from the school entrance so that no one could see his eyes. He was standing stock still. He was staring ahead. But it was the determination to not cry, to stop the bottom lip from wobbling that grabbed me.

He looked 6 years old.

With a full six years experience he was trying to deal with, what I can only assume, was a level of scared many of us believe only happens to those on trial, to those that climb mountains with only a bag of dust or those that are given news that changes everything in your brain.

I stood stock still.
What can I do?

As I stood there willing my comforting smile to make all the difference but knowing it wasn't I connected with some Mum's via our eyes. They started to talk to him.

I walked on and I can't tell you how this small boy managed.
I hope it was with the renowned elasticity of six year olds and that, if I asked him about it now, he would look at as if I was crazy.

What's the moral of my story.
Tears really, he obviously touched the six year old inside me.

Apart from the deep personal face leaking affect I was immediately thrown into a world of, "If he can deal with that, fuck what have I got to worry about?" Failure, tears, scared are all emotions we deeply connect with and inwardly reflect upon - never be afraid to show it, you will be inspiring others.

And there there was "being alone", which for many who know me is one of my deepest fears. Standing there, all alone and dealing with his fear, that little boy took my breath away and it was the "aloneness" that I wanted / needed to solve. I hope the Mum's did so and ultimately his teacher wrapped her/his metaphorical arms around him. Six, no-one needs to be that scared at six.

And no-one needs to tackle the problems of the world on their own .
Never alone - reach out ...


  1. Wow Mike! the mind boggles, do we spend enough time listening to our kids? do they have the courage to reach out and ask? mine are almost 20 years older than the boy described but still my kids facing challenges and finding their feet in the world - so much to process.


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