The school year draws towards a close.
Michael leaves school on Friday. Admittedly, it is a year earlier than he might have done. The Northern Ireland education system was so strong that he leapt forward a year when we crossed the border in January 1999. It seems a brief interlude since Downpatrick Nursery School under the guidance of the wonderful ladies there.
The primary school board of management met this evening for the last time this year. The newly arrived are now old hands and come September there will be a new batch of fresh initiates.
Sitting around the table happy thoughts arose of a young lady in one of the infant classes. Mary had decided not to participate in the Nativity Play on the Christmas before last and the young lady in question was pressed into playing the matronly role at the last moment.
The sudden elevation was an occasion for taunting from a sibling playing a shepherd so as the happy nativity tableau formed, the substitute Mary with a wisdom beyond her years turned and thumped the shepherd. A brilliant improvisation, and probably a whole lot closer to the feisty young Palestinian who walked the road to Bethlehem than most of our religious art.
It is the odd moments, the unscripted moments, the unanticipated moments in life that are the memorable ones.
Since October 1990, Katharine and I have spent a total of two nights together away from our kids, and that was at a clergy conference.
Memories are the only thing that lasts and memories of my kids are the best ones.