On this otherwise routine Tuesday, my boys walked to school together

Out the gate, backpacks jumping, and into the heart of a suburban morning. The simplest of connectives, from home to school is a pair of comfortable 8-irons. One to the corner, and then one to the playground.


By the gate, I guard after them. Alex and Max dissolve around the turn, with a sudden jolt to the right.


It’s their first time. It’s both ordinary and extraordinary.


In my car, I edge around the block to meet them. Our bond’s broken by a tangle of local geography and ribboned tarmac. The one-way street demands I steer away from them, counterintuitively, cruelly, past the park, and then down a hopefully untroubled avenue.


Of course, their little world grows. Out they go, in beautiful binary.


It’s one hundred seconds of quarantined blackness. It’s one hundred seconds of paused parental terror, but it’s also one hundred seconds they need.


Alex and Max have jettisoned from my troposphere, but I launch to them like a satellite, eager to discover a warm orbit.


At the intersection by their school, my car crouches as the outdoor squeals spurt through the open window like snatches of pop songs.


And there they are, bouncing along the path, side-by-side, as brothers should, their flapping shorts of shamrock-green, quince-peels of hair. The roadside trees fold forwards.


Spotting me is simple permission for them to accelerate to school, exploding scraps of rainbow. They scamper through the gate, and to their mates.


I yell after them, but my voice vaporises behind their giraffe legs and the innocent rush of a new day. “Good job, boys. See you tonight!”


Misty-eyed, I drive off. A bright, early morning, already it seems late.


Soon, it will be.


About Mickey Randall

Favourite film: The Shawshank Redemption Favourite song: Khe Sahn Favourite holiday destination: Gold Coast Favourite food: steak Favourite beer: VB Best player seen: Dogga Worst player seen: Frogga Last score on beep test: 3.14159 Favourite minor character in Joyce’s Ulysses: Punch Costello


  1. Cat from the Country says

    The beginning of a new chapter for you and Kerry-ann, and also for Alex and Max

  2. Mickey, I’m sure that whatever their orbit, whatever their course, your boys will glow in the warm, spring light of your father-sun, be it a par-four or a parsec. Nice one, cheers,

  3. Mickey – we want our children to be independent and mostly we succeed. Tough and beautiful day.

    I remember when our oldest, Clare, turned to me as we walked down the school path one morning and said, “You don’t have to come with me anymore Dad.” There it was, a dagger to the heart. And a wonderful moment. She was taking flight.

  4. Thanks Cat from the Country. Enjoying the little milestones.

    nickw- appreciate your beautifully put thoughts.

    Dips- that’s it. Daggers, tears (mine!) and smiles! Little deaths.

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Wonderful moment well described Mickey. It can be hard to let go.
    Of course, there’s more to come. No doubt like you, looking forward to the journey with my boys.

  6. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    They’ll always need the contents of your wallet Mickey.

  7. Yvette Wroby says

    Loved this Mickey. Time slips through the fingers and it’s great that you are taking note and are there for these moments.

  8. Thanks Luke. I’m with you although am not looking forward to the “We need quad bikes, Dad” phase.

    Things seem to have changed here Swish. No longer does an age limit apply on wallet access. Probably connected to the smashed avo/need my own home matrix.

    Thanks Yvette. Appreciate your thoughts.

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