Thursday, November 08, 2007


What is it about being a parent that brings on such feelings of pride and joy in our offspring? I know we can go on and on about it, but its almost impossible not to. I am an admittedly proud man, confident in my achievements, perhaps to a fault, but you know what? One of my kids doing the most basic thing right will fill me up with more pride than nailing that deal or landing that project just right ever will.

They are yet young, and their achievements small, but I am just so chuffed with my kids at the moment. First and foremost, the thing that pleases me the most, is they are happy. A happy child is just such a pleasure to be around, they make whiters white, bring out that bit of sparkle to life. They’ve got friends and each other, and life just seems sunny for them.

Yet there’s icing on the cake. Frankly, so long as they are enjoying their childhood, I’d be satisfied and content we where doing the right thing. It doesn’t hurt at all though that they all seem to be doing well at school. Over the past weeks we’ve had they necessary parent teacher meetings. Those little ten minute insights into how its all going.

My Princess was a simple meeting. She is the youngest in her class, and only just made the age cut off. We debated giving her another year, but she seemed ready for it. Clearly she was happy with school, but you can be happy and failing. There where no worries, far from it. Her teacher, who’s really lovely, just bubbled about her. There is no surer way to a parent’s heart than to compliment your child, and we were assured not only was she keeping up, she was giving her extra bits an pieces because she was so keen. So, one big tick then.

Pirate Pete was next. We’d already heard some good news when he got put in the advanced math stream, but the teacher meeting was equally good. It was coded teacher speak. Some never want to directly praise for fear of parental rivalry bringing on accusations of preference. It was all, “he’s doing fine, but I want to work with him on this,” and “if you could bring up these things at home it would really help.” LL was all worried, she heard all the negative. Then we got his report card a few days latter and it was brilliant. Clearly the coded speak was about how he could really fly, and she was willing to be there to help him on, and just wanted us along for the ride.

LL is at a conference in the states this week, so last night I did Ali Baba’s meeting on my own. I got there a bit early. These things are like the doctors, you have to be spot on time, but don’t be surprised if the doctor is delayed. Sure enough, the parents currently in had a whole half hour. To be fair their boy had a troubled start to the year. They’d just moved into the area, and had a horrible experience at the first school, so ripped him out a few weeks in and moved him to ours. Poor boy just hadn’t coped well, though the daily dispatches from the front (usually monosyballic grunts, though determined grilling sometimes gets nuggets out) had reported him doing better.

Any how, they had a long go. The next parents where in for fifteen minutes. I had rather figured she was just a chatty teacher. No, I was in and out in five. “You know Mr. Boy, he’s just doing really well.” She opens her note book, “Yes, he’s one of the furthest along in his reading. Maths is at a difficult stage, some boys need time to figure out money, but… No, he’s just taken to the concepts. Spelling… the odd one wrong, but frankly he’s got some of the best results. His handwriting is a bit cramped, but he did this today so I’m sure we can work on it.” She pulled out this sheet of lovely flowing script. His handwriting is cramped, if it kept on he’d be able to transcribe the bible onto the head of a pin, so the page she showed was a marked improvement. “I’m sorry, I really feel like one if supposed to say more and talk about what to work on, but he’s just a lovely little boy and doing ever so well.” She walked me around the classroom to show some of his work up on the wall, then we shook hands and that was it. How good was that?

So today the world could crash about my shoulders and I just wouldn’t care. My kids are happy, have friends, and are doing “ever so well”.


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