There’s a hole in my trousers’ marque 3 pipes up from the rear. It’s a beautiful sunny morning and I am smiling to myself for my start of the day mini-victories. They are all breakfasted, uniformed, hair, teeth and faces done. They have shoes that match, which was looking implausible ten minutes ago. Their homework journals are signed. It has been a squabble free gem of a start. We are cruising merrily towards the school and we are on time. I’m trying to block out the talk from the rear which threatens to change the vibe.
‘Mu-um, there’s a hole in my trousers’.
‘What do you mean there’s a hole in your trousers?’. I certainly did not see one when I was preparing the gear earlier. It must be tiny.
‘I mean there’s a huge hole right here at the IMPORTANT PART’ he says and I laugh, picturing his nine year old perturbed face pointing to his nether regions. The damned uniform trousers are always bursting at the seams beneath the fly. Practically impossible to spot while laundering, but to the discerning eye while being worn, well, plain enough to see.
‘Nobody will notice’ I say, assuredly.
‘We are dancing a CEILI with the girls at the girls school today’ he says, semi indignant now.
He has indeed been talking about this dance for weeks. Grilling his older brother on the etiquette of this event, this St Patrick’s Day mixed sex celebratory treat.
‘I thought that was on Wednesday’ I say hopefully.
‘It’s today Mum, and they are all going to laugh’.
I’m squirming a little now. I picture myself racing home, finding an alternative pair of trousers, racing back up to the school and delivering them. There, dignity intact. But then he wouldn’t change, would he? He’d be too embarrassed. And what kind of message would that give him anyway? That I too think he’ll be sneered at by the girls? That I’ll do anything to rescue him from that possible fate. I look at his bright lovely face in the mirror. They should be so lucky as to be dancing with him, this Irish Mammy of boys thinks. He can brave it out.
‘Nobody’s going to be looking down there’ I say, ‘and if they are, they shouldn’t be’. QED. There is unconvinced silence.
‘You’re going to ruin his life sending him to the dance with a hole right there’ marque 4 contributes, and cackles with laughter. Cheers mate. Then marque 2 beside me pipes up.
‘I had a hole in the exact same place when I danced the CEILI at the girls school two years ago. Don’t worry, nobody noticed’ he said, and he smiles at me. Now I don’t know if he made that up to appease the situation, which would be characteristically mature of him, or if he did indeed suffer the same seamless situation that marque 3 was hurtling towards. Either way I think just he saved the day, again.