From the ed­i­tor

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - CONTENTS - SARAH DANIELL sarah. daniell@ nzher­ald. co. nz

I re­mem­ber my first day at school. 1970, Rau­mati South. Just over the road from where we lived. Both my much older sis­ters were there. I was stand­ing with a bunch of other new en­trants in the quad­ran­gle at play­time, hud­dled to­gether like in­fant an­i­mals thrown to the wild, cer­tain only of one thing: if we stuck to­gether we might just be fine. My sis­ter (who would’ve been the baby of the fam­ily had I not come along) came up to us with a hand­ful of soft cot­ton wool. She asked me to touch it. What I didn’t know was she had ob­scured a com­pass un­der­neath and, when my fin­ger gen­tly touched the cot­ton wool, I felt a prick. I was stung more by the hu­mil­i­a­tion. I was 5, she was 10 and she just hated my guts back then. I had also brought along my doll, Caro­line. That was in the days when you lit­er­ally had one prized toy, not the vast pile of op­tions kids get today. The teacher, who was very stern and seemed an­cient, came over to my lit­tle wooden desk, grabbed the doll and threw her in the grey, cir­cu­lar metal rub­bish bin. Where she stayed for the rest of the day. I re­mem­ber drop­ping my own chil­dren, twins, for their first day, back in 2010. They had each other. They looked back at me, waved and smiled, be­fore go­ing into their class­room. That day, Daisy was ap­pointed sup­port for other new en­trants and Isaac tried to jump over the wall sur­round­ing the school and re­turn to kindy. The en­tire class was dis­patched to get him back be­cause the teacher couldn’t run that fast. Greg Bruce writes this week about the first day of his el­dest daugh­ter, Tal­lu­lah. It’s achingly good. Even if it was a trig­ger for my com­pass/ doll trauma mem­ory.

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