Lately, at bedtime, I’ve been asking Tom what the best thing was to happen to him that day. There’s always something exciting when you’re at primary school. It helps me too – even the dreariest days working from home have something good in them (usually something he does or says, as it happens.) Today, for both of us, the best thing that happened was the Trophy, an award presented to Tom for having “an outstanding attitude to school life.”
“I must have done something really good to win this,” he tried to raise it above his head, “I can’t even lift it properly!”
He’s completely in awe of it.
“My head teacher says I get to keep it and polish it for a whole year,” he said.
“It is really special, I’m very proud of you,” I looked at his reflection in the silver, “It’s an ace start to the summer. You, the trophy, camping, festival time, sunshine, blue sky….”
“Alright Mum, don’t get too excited.”
There was no bag to keep it in, so he was walking along the street clutching it on the way home. We went in the corner shop and he put it on the counter.
“How much for this trophy?” he asked the shopkeeper, because he knew the shopkeeper would ask him where he got it from and what he’d done to win it.
Tom always runs ahead down our street and waits for me on the doorstep, then starts nagging me to get him a drink or look at his latest drawing while I’m still trying to lock the door behind me. He was sitting there today, his little legs out in front of him on the pavement, the shiny trophy resting on his grey school shorts. I thought about five summers ago, when I pushed his pram round the park in the same figure of eight loop every day, wishing he’d talk back. I thought about how today is one of those days he will never forget.
“Mum, will you dust the trophy while I’m in bed?”
“I doubt it.”
“Where shall we put it?”
“I don’t know.”
By the time I’d locked the front door and put down the bags, he’d rushed inside. I found him climbing on the armchair and putting the trophy on the bookshelf, nearly knocking over the dusty ornaments and sending spare change clattering to the floor.
“There!” said Tom.
“It looks good,” I said.
“Everybody will think our house is posh when they see my trophy.”