Thursday 19 October 2017

Children weighed down with learning

Dunnes Stores were the winners in the back-to-school race this year
Dunnes Stores were the winners in the back-to-school race this year

* Watching my son wobble down the path towards where the school bus would take him to the pobalscoil brought back memories of me doing the same sort of wobble, but it wasn't going to school – I was too busy for that.

I was the same age, 13 or thereabouts, when a neighbour called to the house and said he had an extra bag of spuds he had no need for. My mother said sure, they wouldn't go to loss here. So off I went with him, taking big strides in the process to collect the bag of spuds.

When I saw the size of the bag that would dwarf anything I had ever lifted, a smile swept the oul buck's face as he chewed a lump of tobacco. He told me to get a good grip on it and, with a little twist, lifted it up on to my back. With a weight that would buckle a donkey, my legs were locked into a dead straight position and it took a lot of effort to move forward without the bag pancaking me into the ground. I wobbled as if every step was going to be my last until I reached the house.

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