Diary of a Farmer's Wife: Autumn 2018

Anna MacCurrach and offspring revisit a crucial life skill as a big change approaches

It’s all change for us (again) this autumn as our eldest child makes the leap from primary to secondary school. Year 6 was emotional for me. I sat and watched her last Christmas service, last sports day, last school play, with all the previous years flashing before my eyes; suddenly it was her year sitting the exams, heading off on the residential, leading the leavers’ service. It is strange how it feels like we have been there forever yet at the same time it seems to have gone so quickly.

My daughter, however, is totally ready to make the move. The two taster days were enough to reassure her it would be brilliant but they alerted me to one life skill they are all somewhat lacking: crossing the road. Whilst they have a fantastic awareness of the potential dangers of farmyards, and an acute sense of self-preservation when in a field of cattle, crossing the road isn’t something we do an awful lot of.

Even in the relatively quiet village where their primary school is located I turn into a highly militant she-wolf when we get to the extremely dangerous grass-triangle-three-way-junction-situation. With arms splayed out to protect my precious offspring from the dangers of placing so much as a toe on the road, I bark instructions “wait WAIT” “now go!” “go go GO!”. This has resulted in them having almost zero survival instinct, instead adapting to listen to what I am saying (shouting).

After seven years of walking her right to the door of her primary school, and the new plan being to drop her off in the village centre, you can imagine my anxiety levels were quite high. On the first ‘taster day’ her group of her friends, many of whom we have known since playschool, were waiting for her and excitement levels were high. Unable to help myself I presented one with sole responsibility for getting my (completely mortified) daughter across the road safely, causing a flutter of giggles as they walked away from me.

I returned to my car to drive the other two to their primary school, almost hyperventilating at the thought of my precious firstborn crossing the - frankly deadly - Bourton High Street without me.

Later that day I drove to her friend’s house to collect her, longing to hear all about their first day. They had all had a great time, they said. Lunch was delicious, they said. Everyone really nice, they said. The funniest thing that happened all day? Jules nearly getting squashed crossing the road.

Find out more about Tagmoor Farm at www.lovemycow.com