Islamic Fundamentals

When Aitch died it was two Muslim Moms that stepped forward and calmly and without fuss saved my butt. They re-organised their lift club to include me and kept me informed of what was happening at school. I did the morning ‘deliver’ school run every third week, while they shared the afternoon ‘fetch’ school run between them, insisting I needn’t do it as I was working and they were home Moms.

Then every year they’d give ME presents “to thank me for my help”! Five and a half years they just sorted me out, reminding me of events, juggling times when needed. We were all flexible, swopping times as needed by any of us in special circumstances.

They were fundamentally fantastic.


The Prison Lady

I went to hand over the cash we had raised after the first school swimming gala to the bursar. Livingstone school, around 2011.

TomTom accompanied me.

Livingstone Walkathon (8)
Much counting and signing and Tom showing off his swimming “medals” with Rick making all the right noises from behind the hatch at the bursar’s office.
As we left, Tom says to me: “We call her the Prison Lady. You see all the bars she’s behind? Look, even her door has burglar bars!”
Oh, I said, I wonder if she has to sleep in there all night?
“No”, he says airily, “she has her own keys”.


When I told Rick about this, she told me how one little kid had peered at her through the bars and asked:
“Do you have food?”


TomTom has to keep a daily holiday diary for school. Verbally he can be quite verbose. When a story can be told in 10 words, he’ll take 20, then repeat them in case you weren’t listening.

So we went shopping and walked for miles in Westwood centre, then drove to the Pavilion, looking for soccer collectable cards and an album. Plus we had Kentucky Fried chicken and a Tab, bought plasters for him and disprins for me. And he listened to music on his headphones in the kombi.

In his diary he wrote: I have soka cards frommy Dad. That was it.

Earlier, we had arranged to go to the Palmiet River*.  Aitch was out, so I told TomTom we should leave a note for Mom to tell her where we we’d gone.

He wrote a big note. It said (in glossy silver pen): We have gone.

On my insistence he added some detail:

And we well come back


*(Our fossicking turned up tadpoles, mayfly nymphs, baby frogs, freshwater shrimps and little fish fry)

Appropriate indeed

So I’m dropping off the twins (the terrible twins, Ebony Tom and Ivory Joshua) at Paula Dean’s Holiday Club, at West Virginia (or so it sounds when the kids say it – it’s actually Westville Junior).

Josh and Tom

Also Jessie and Londeka, whose visiting her grandma Gogo Regina, our housekeeper,  from Mbumbane.

On the way up the steps I remember, and mumble, that I must fill in an indemnity form for Josh.

No, Dad, we already filled in our Indignity Form, says TomTom.


Not Now, Ma!

Aitch takes a weekly reading session at Livingstone.
She usually reads in the class and each kid gets a turn to come to her and read while the rest get on with their work under the teacher’s supervision.
Aitch usually slips Tom’s book near the top of the pile so he can get his reading done early and stop watching her reading with the others.
She gives him a discreet hug as he walks up to her to which he might stiffen akwardly, turn his shoulder and glance to see if his mates are watching. He does NOT want to be teased!

This week for once the reading was outside, and Mrs Button sent the kids out one by one.

SO: TomTom climbed on Aitch’s lap and gave her a huge hug, snuggled down and read both his books to her with full concentration!

Aitch’s grin was still fixed on her face hours later.