Sandra Dick: Not worth panicking over new uniforms

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BEEN great hasn’t it? Waving the kids back to school, I mean.

Summer spent in front of the Xbox, teens holed up in their room for days on end, younger ones bored stiff then suddenly finding something to do the moment you suggest hanging up the washing or tidying their room.

Admittedly, the last minute school uniform dash nearly did me in but that’s because I adhere to the slattern’s approach to motherhood combined with a journalist’s love for a Usain Bolt style sprint to the deadline. It’s why, the night before the kids are due to go back to school, I’m in the local 24-hour Tesco raking through school trousers and praying that I find a white shirt.

True, this exercise usually ends with two boys going to school in trousers that slide down their waists and hang in loose folds over their shoes, but as their old shoes are scruffy and battered, it’s quite good that they’re hidden by excess layers of fabric.

I wasn’t always quite so lax in prepping my kids for school. Indeed, I might have been better prepared this time round if I hadn’t found myself in the supermarket listening to a red-faced mother screaming at her daughter over a school skirt.

“I have had ENOUGH!” she bellowed, leaving her daughter teary eyed and wishing the ground would swallow her up.

My hand had been hovering over a pair of school trousers but blitzed back to reality, I gathered my surly looking lads and we marched off to the local go-kart track. I ended up £40 down, but it was worth every penny.

Free of charge, here’s what 13 years of motherhood has taught me: As long as your kids are clean, healthy and don’t smell, no-one cares if their school trousers aren’t brand new; and Clarks will still have shoes the day after the kids go back to class. There, you are welcome.

Because there are bigger things to worry about. Take young Leon Rendle, the incredibly brave 15-year-old from Lochend who won’t be returning to school because his cancer has returned. This time it can’t be cured.

No doubt mum Nicky would love to have been picking up the new school uniform. Instead she was taking her son to hospital to start his next bout of chemotherapy treatment.

Childhood is short, indeed far too short for some. What seems worth yelling about to us adults isn’t really that big a deal to most kids.

My two might be heading to school wearing last year’s jackets but, hey, the go-karts were fun.

A justgiving page has been launched to raise money for Leon. Go to www.justgiving.com/Leonrendle