Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer holiday over

Today we came back from centerparcs. It's the end of our family summer holiday. Feels strange as the state schools around us are only starting their holiday today.

Holiday started off with my putting my back out. Got down early. Took the washing out and hung it up and might have packed a few things away. Went back upstairs for my shower and found that I could not stand up straight.

The pain was so bad that I had to take painkillers. Thankfully the journey there was comfortable enough. Son was very good.

Got there and had to collect our bikes. Would I be able to cycle?

Answer: yes. It was OK so long as I kept bent over. I was still in too much pain to stand up straight.

We lazed the rest of the day away.

Day Two: I put my feet gingerly on the floor. Would I feel pain if I stood up?

I was able to stand up straight!!! What joy!

There was still some pain, but it was bearable. I didn't need to walk around hunched over.

But I decided not to do the ten-pin bowling as planned. Husband however remained competitive. Son was devastated by his poor performance. (He refused to use the gutter guards and had many gutter balls.)

Son suffers from an attitude problem. Came to a point where husband was so fed up he was ready to walk out. Somehow we (the boys) managed to keep going.

Son persevered grudgingly. When he was good (or 'lucky'?) he scored the most amazing points, but most of the time he decided to hurl the ball into the gutter.

I could 'talk' but could not do much. When husband tired out I played a few of his frames and did OK. I had to show son that despite my temporary disability that it's not simply brute force (think husband/dad) that matters.

That was perhaps the worst bit of the break. Thankfully he became more positive after this. We swam, played bowls (only husband had done this before), table tennis, etc. and had a great time.

We enjoyed the food -- no cooking for me, yay! -- and were blessed by good weather.

Aches and pains we had many but in the end I could celebrate at least that son had gained so much confidence in his biking skills. He moved from a trailer ("Faster! Daddy, faster!) to a tricycle which he rammed into the bike ranks, to a bike with stabilizers, and now a real 20" bicycle.

He was also incredily confident in the water and enjoyed the 'waves' and the big slides. And the amount of food he ate. ... scary!

Seven more weeks of son at home before school starts. Just as well he's booked into holiday club for some of this time!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Last Day of School

Went for the Leavers Service. This is the school chapel service dedicated to the Form VI boys leaving for senior school. It is quite an emotional time for the parents whose sons have been at the school for some time.

I like going to the service to pray for the boys, some of whom I know better than others. They each go up for a special blessing from the School Chaplain whatever faith (or none) that they may or may not have. I saw proud parents taking photos of this moment.

So pleased that in such an overtly Christian school they have managed to integrate pupils from such diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.

Then we moved swiftly from the Chapel to the Hall for the final Headmaster's Assembly. As the Headmaster was leaving this was his final final assembly.

More certificates were given out. Son was given his Excellent Work in Drama Certificate and Good Work badge. He later showed me his certificate for Class Champion in Chess given out earlier in the morning and the Headmaster finally returned his Chief Scout's Silver Award to him then as well.

"Goodbyes" were said to boys leaving, migrating and going on long holidays.

Another school year had flown by so quickly. In a few weeks' time son would start at the top form of his 'Middle School' and having to get used to putting stuff in lockers and organizing his day, taking exams in the main hall, taking on more responsibilities, etc. etc.

It's great to see these young people growing up.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Speech/less Day

Lazy morning. Hot.

Managed to all pile into the car at 1.21pm as planned. Found a convenient parking space. Yoohoo!

Proceedings bearable.

Then as we headed out of the church son came running back in. He had lost one of his Prize envelopes (with store voucher inside).

A couple of minutes later we saw him again. He had two envelopes in his hand.

Then as we got to the door, he was seen running in again. He had forgotten his water bottle.

I waited while the rest got to the car to get it started up, etc. Son came out, couldn't find water bottle. Maybe he didn't take it out of the car at all.

And just as I was about to say "Let's get to the car."

"O! I've lost one envelope again."


So I waited as he went in to try to retrieve his 'Instrumental Music Award' which only minutes before I had seen in his hand.

Back he came, couldn't find it.

I don't remember what I said but it obviously upset him. It's one of those "whatever I say will be wrong" moments. So I stopped trying.

When we got home he refused to return to school for the reception.

"What if someone has found your stuff and is waiting to hand it back to you?"

He came reluctantly and only some time later lightened up enough to have something to eat. Then he realized that there was some really good grub about and ate some more.

I don't know. This kid drives me mad sometimes. What was supposed to be a happy occasion he had to make into something not-so-happy with his strop. It was not as if anyone had chided him for losing a water bottle, or his award.

Favourite song at the moment, Africa by Toto after we heard and saw this, courtesy of Ginney at Straits Times Press. It's really quite amazing. These are Slovenians, but their English is so good. Definitely better than my Slovenian.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Speech Day Tomorrow/Victor Cup

Nanny's arrived (with her partner) for the event.

Weather's been so hot the boys have been told to be in 'shirt-sleeve order'. No blazers, no ties, no caps.

Yesterday son took part in the Victor Cup. This is the premium open swimming event at school. Boys swim two lengths each of backstroke, breast-stroke, butterfly and front crawl. They are not separated into age groups. Last year the event was won by a 10/11-year-old.

Son is not the strongest swimmer. In fact no matter how hard he seems to be trying his performance is not rated at anything above C (which is average).

Pick-up time he told me he came in third in his group (Form II). But there were only three boys in the race.

I was really chuffed by his attitude.

I was actually most surprised by the fact that only two boys (the third was from a lower Form who could not swim with that Form because of a nosebleed, but who actually beat the two Form II boys) in his Form took part.

One boy is superior to the others in swimming (his mum teaches swimming as well) and swam with Form III. No surprise there. He won his round.

But there are other boys in Form II who are very good in Sport. Why did they not take part?

Son entered the competition knowing he did not stand a tiny chance of winning, but he took the plunge (pun intended) and went for it.

It made up for his disappointment for not being able to take part in the Swimming Gala last week due to his burn wound.

I reminded him of how proud I am of him.