I was in my twenties when I first went to the school gate as a mother with Jimmy and Dolly. Back then, I always felt surrounded by married couples, putting my single-motherhood into stark relief. It was the mothers with partners who met for coffees, formed book groups and greeted one another in gym kit to go running together. I never felt as though I belonged: I just wanted to run away.


Now I’m past 40 and Dash and Evangeline and later Lester are taking me back to the primary school gate.


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