If you went to high school in a small enough town, and you stay there- or return to there- until your children are old enough to attend school themselves, it’s logical that some of your children’s classmates might just be the offspring of the same people you yourself went to school with.
Having not particularly enjoyed going to high school in this area, that wasn’t a very comforting thought. But, hey, we’re all thirty years old now, right? We’ve all grown up a bit. Or so you’d hope.
Over the course of the last six months worth of the dreaded school pick up, I recognised one of the mums who was milling around the school courtyard, waiting too. Her daughter was in the same class as my son. I know I went to highschool with her. But that’s about as specific as my memory gets. I can’t remember her name, or any particular interaction with her. I do remember that we didn’t get along. There’s been too much life happen in between then and now… the memories weren’t important enough to keep.
Obviously I made a bigger impression on her than she did on me. She remembered me well enough to pass on to her daughter that she knew me, that we’d been to school together. That she didn’t like me.
And, kids being kids, her daughter passed that information on.
I was a bit dumbstruck when the Chop told me, “So and so’s mum went to school with you and she doesn’t like you!” He said it nonchalantly, a point in his rambling list of Things That Happened That Day. I don’t know why it bothered me, because it didn’t bother him. If he’d been upset about it, I might have been, too… I wasn’t, so much. It just bugged me.
Just… for f*ck’s sake. As if there isn’t enough turmoil in the social lives of five year olds, without adding high school bitchiness into the mix. I wonder, vaguely, how much life has happened to this other mum in the years since we finished high school, for her to be able to hang onto that hate so much.
In the end, I just tell my boy that maybe that other mum “needs to grow up a bit”. I’m thinking the tumultuous kindergarten grapevine means that reply get passed on, too.
The spiteful, five-year-old part of me hopes so.