Sunday, July 06, 2008

A mother's worry

Another extremely busy week.

Monday: a concert to which parents were not invited, but son performed with the Wind Band.

Tuesday: Sports Day. Started off well. Son kept coming in fourth, so no certificates for him, but points for his House. Very frustrating. But he somehow sprinted his heart out and came in third in his House sprint and was selected to go into the sprint relay team. A real achievement.

They won that event but somehow they were not given a medal and he was not even given a certificate. Very odd.

Then the 200m individual. He had been practising in his group C or D relays. But because of his excellent performance in the earlier sprint, got put into the strongest group with the top runners. The eventual winner also managed a false start but the starter did not see this.

Son saw the false start and hesitated expecting a recall which never came and eventually ran, some two seconds later, and managed to come in second to last.

He was not a happy bunny. He has to learn to play to the whistle -- or whatever phrase it should be. I felt very embarrassed by his tears. He felt it was not fair. We knew it was not fair. A good few parents saw the false start but none spoke up, except me, because their sons were not in that race. Those whose sons won -- despite their false starts -- also did not own up to it.

Well, such is life.

Wednesday: Things quietened down a bit. I was so upset with his behaviour at Sports Day I was up in the middle of the night (from hay fever, actually) and wrote him a long letter, noting how he does not seem to be aware of other people's feelings, including my own, that he does not see the positive and dwell only on the negative, that we have to stop excusing him by saying he is only eight, because the other eight-year-olds did not behave like him. He read the letter with great solemnity at breakfast.

On the whole, a much better day, because he did try to look at the positives today. What a glorious change. And how much nicer.

Thursday: School Speech Day -- one of my few opportunties to dress up. Weather was perfect. Son won the Class Prize. And we saw that he also won a music certificate, which was to be handed out on ...

Friday: Leavers service at the school chapel followed by Final Assembly. Loads of certificates to hand out. Son's House won the Sports section and were all-round winners this year, much to their delight. But, as I pointed out, he was given nothing for coming in first in the team relay. I shall have to speak to the Sports teacher about this.

Grade card came back. He did excellently. A1s in English, Maths, Science, French, Geography and Music, and A2s in Technology, History and Art, and a C2 in Religious Studies which he decided was not religious enough ("It's history!"). He was thrilled that he had managed to get an A1 in English, a personal goal. Now to convert A2s to A1s and get rid of that C2 in Religious Studies ....

Cubs in the evening and he came home with SIX new badges (four music, one swimming and one IT) which kept me busy this afternoon.

Saturday: Dad at work all day and we had lots of essential shopping to do.

Sunday: church and joint birthday party in the afternoon.

What has been weighing really heavy on my mind is the murder of the two French exchange students in London earlier this week. I cannot comprehend how any one could perpetrate such a crime. I cannot imagine how their mothers could come to terms with the way their promising sons -- prospective Nobel Prize winners for all we know -- died.

I fear for my son. What a future. To grow up in an era where lives could be snuffed out just like that, probably not for anything more than a few quid so that the perpetrator of the crime could get his next fix.

This is a very, very sad world.

What does a mother do? What can a mother do? I can only pray. Pray for God's protection. Pray that God, in his mercy, would allow my son's gifts to come to fruition that others might benefit from it. And pray that God's Name be praised. And pray for the mothers of those two young men.

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