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James (name changed) had training on Tuesday night and, as it was dry and reasonably mild, I decided to hang around and watch with a couple of the dads. James was looking back to himself from a fitness point of view and looked strong.

A couple of the dads said that he looked like he had grown a couple of inches and what was I feeding him. When training was finished we went and grabbed a cuppa in the clubhouse while the lads had a team meeting. When the lads joined us they were telling us about their forthcoming match on the following Saturday. The coaches joined us and as we were discussing the travel arrangements the head coaches’ phone went off and it was the coach from the opposition stating that they only had 6 players fit, due to Covid, and would have to forfeit the match. The lads seemed disappointed and I looked at James and he smiled and mouthed the words “lie in” to me. We both smiled.

We got home and James had made himself a sandwich and we sat and chatted about Covid and how it had changed everything. James then asked about the Ukraine situation and I tried to explain it to him, the best I could. Somebody at school had a father in the military and was saying that there was going to be a war and there would be nuclear weapons used. Apparently it had upset some of the pupils and the teacher had to talk to the lad and ask him not to say the things that he had said. It was a difficult conversation as I wanted to be honest with him but not scare him. He went off to bed hopefully not too scared of imminent explosions. 

When James got home on Wednesday I did a uniform check to make sure everything was ok. This was based on the comments of the dad at training who said that James looked taller. His blazer was fin as we had bought a size above and it was a little long in the arms when he first wore it. Shirts seemed fin but I decided to buy him a couple more as they aren’t expensive and I would get them the next size up. The main issue was his trousers that were borderline ‘ankle swingers’. So we decided that new trousers were called for. Waist wise they were fine but length wise they were too short. So I headed off in search of trousers and found some that were his size. I bought 2 pairs and gave them to him to try on when he got home. They were fine, fitted well around his waist and were a tadge too long but he would ‘grow in to them’ as my Mum used to say. So we were all up to date with clothes and uniform until the end of the school year. I suspected that he may need to get some new shoes but we’ll deal with that whenever. It is important to me that James always looks smart and well dressed. He carried the stigma of being a ‘looked after child’ very well and I didn’t want him to have to be embarrassed by how he looked, compared to the other kids.

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