Burdens of motherhood

Thursday 28 June 2012

It is a sticky afternoon; the sun shines briefly, early on, but then it goes in.
Not long before 14:55, the black Umbria parks alongside the Old Man’s front lawn, with its nose just overlapping the right-hand pillar of the garden-gate, then moves to where its nose is alongside the left-hand pillar. A black car that I think is an Ultra parks nose-to-nose with the Umbria. When the Umbria driver gets out, I see that she is wearing denims. Another woman gets out of the same car: she is young, slightly taller than the driver, and has red hair tied up at the back. She is carrying a baby, and with her is the blond boy seen earlier today, who is smiling.

I don’t see Scarlett arrive, but I see her get out of her car, which is parked alongside number 35, a few minutes past 15:00. Since the early morning school-run she has tied up her hair at the back ā€” a good idea on a sticky afternoon ā€” but her clothing is the same as it was. Tiny Boy gets out of the nearside rear; his anorak is unfastened, and under it he is wearing a white pullover with a sky-blue band across the middle; his denims are medium/pale blue. After they cross the road, I see dangling from Scarlett’s right hand something that could be a key-fob. When crossing the road, and also on the far pavement, she is holding Tiny Boy’s right hand in her left hand.
The sun has come out, and is reflecting off the rear window of Scarlett’s car.
A couple of minutes before 15:15 I glimpse Scarlett and the boys on the far pavement. Again, I think, Tiny Boy’s right hand is in his mother’s left hand. Small Boy, who is wearing a long-sleeve red pullover and dark trousers, separates from his mother and brother while they are all crossing the road, and makes his way round the car’s nose to the front passenger door. He looks quite eager. With her right hand and forearm, Scarlett is holding a book-bag against her chest; she is also carrying Small Boy’s dark coat or anorak. Scarlett and Tiny Boy go round the tail of the car to the nearside rear. Tiny Boy still looks a bit bemused. I watch her lean in at the nearside rear. I have assumed that Small Boy has got in to the car, but not so ā€” he must have been out-of-sight behind the second junction-box. Still unencumbered by luggage, he now opens the front passenger door; he isn’t quick to close it once he has got in.
There is a short delay after Scarlett gets in. She then reverses off the high kerb rather than the low kerb. She reverses quite a long way further, before driving off past the Old Man’s house.
At 15:37 the school-run is over. Mrs Pavane’s car has gone from alongside the Thornboroughs’ house.
Earlier today, the Junior Golfer’s kiddy-car was alongside the wall of the garage that belongs to his family; but at 16:25 it is nowhere to be seen.
Towards 20:30, the setting sun is shining brightly onto the junction-box. Not long after 20:30, there is a GigaGroce delivery van outside the Trimots’ house, but the driver is making the delivery to the Ports’ house.

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