The school bell rang and Miss Lipman shouted over the babble of the children as they packed up their things.
‘Thank you for a wonderful first day, Year Three! Make sure you’ve got your bags to go home with.’
Alex pulled on his new coat that Mum had bought him and rolled up the sleeves that were too long. He hadn’t wanted to go back to school after a long, lazy summer spent at the beach, in the park and on the sofa. He’d thought about all the jobs he could do as a grown up that meant staying home every single day. Maybe he could be a writer.
He pulled his backpack on to his shoulders and started to line up with his friends. Miss Lipman let them out one at a time. Alex could see Mum waiting with her blue anorak on and he shouted a quick ‘See you tomorrow!’ to his friends as he ran over to her.
‘Hello you!’ Mum said as she bent down to hug him. ‘How was your first day back?’
‘Good,’ smiled Alex.
‘What did you get up to?’ Mum asked as they walked towards the school gates together.
‘Always the same,’ Mum laughed.
They walked back home together through Caedelyn Park and Mum stuck to the path while Alex ran through the huge piles of leaves that were under the trees. They crunched under his feet and he kicked them up in the air so they fell like a red and gold shower around him.
‘Look Mum!’ he called. ‘Look at my leaf shower!’
She smiled and beckoned him over to her so he kicked one last time and ran back to the path.
‘Do you know that those trees have been there since before Nanny was in school?’ Mum said.
‘Have they?!’ asked Alex, in disbelief.
‘Yep. They’ve been there for a very long time.’
‘Wo-o-ow!’ Alex said, marvelling at the old trees that surrounded the park.
Maybe I could be a park-keeper when I’m older, he thought, and look after all the old trees.
‘We’ve got soup for tea tonight,’ Mum said.
‘Ohhh, I didn’t want soup!’
‘I guessed that so I bought us some chocolate fudge cake to have as a treat for afters.’
‘Yessss!’ Alex said, hugging Mum tightly.
As they walked through the front door of their house, Alex noticed his dad crouching down in front of the fireplace.
‘What are you doing, Dad?’ he asked, throwing his school bags down on the floor.
‘Lighting the fire, son. There’s gonna be a storm tonight,’ Dad said, with excitement in his eyes.
As he watched the flames dance in the grate, Alex made a very big decision.
‘I’m going to be a fireman when I grow up,’ he said, proudly.
‘Are you?’ Mum asked. ‘I thought you wanted to be an astronaut, a vet, a sailor, a policeman and an archaeologist.’
‘I do but now I want to be a fireman too!’
‘Well, whatever you’re going to be, just make sure you’re still my Alex,’ she said, kissing his head and ruffling his hair. ‘Now, who wants some soup?’
Allie Morgan is an award-winning writer and blogger. You can find more of her work at