The things our children teach us
Rose cried before she fell asleep on Friday night, curled up in my bed. She cried again as soon as she woke up. She cried when she got back from her friend's house on Saturday afternoon. She cried when we went to bed again. She even apologised to me. I comforted her, of course, and poured in all the positive energy I could muster, and then cried all over a couple of friends at the choral society afternoon rehearsal.
My maternal rage kicked in very quickly on Friday afternoon, and I phoned her headteacher and made an appointment to talk to her about putting in an appeal to secure a place at the grammar school. The odds are very slim (last year 85% of appeal places were granted to children with test scores higher than hers), but I'm going in fighting because that's the school she wants to go to. And educationally, financially and logistically it's the best choice all round. I'm not sure her headteacher is going to be very helpful, but I hope I'm wrong.
And small, beautiful and kind things happened.
The friends at choir (well, acquintances really I suppose) were wonderfully understanding about my momentary crumple.
After I'd dropped my daughter at her friend Samantha's house on Saturday morning, her mother rang to ask me how things were. Apparently Sam, though thrilled with her pass-mark, had cried for about an hour when she'd heard our news. Nina (the mother) said that she had talked to Sam about keeping an eye out for Rose at school to make sure nobody upset her talking about their results & which school they're now heading for, and said that if there was anything they could do (having her round, taking her out with them, etc for cheering-up purposes) just to call on them at any time. Her concern and support were heartfelt and much appreciated.
My ex is coming round tomorrow to talk action plan. He's putting together a budget for managing to continue at the private school if necessary. AND he'll sell his beloved VW beetle to help fund it if necessary.
Today has been busy. We've had Grandma and Great-Aunt and Aunt round for Sunday dinner, and lots of homework to finish. Then when Rose was having her bath, she started talking calmly about whether the grammar school is really the right one for her. My little 10 year old was saying that even though that's where she'd like to go because her sister's already there, and she'll be able to walk to school, and lots of her friends are going there, that maybe it isn't really the right place for her. And she talked about what subjects she'd like to do for gcse, and what she'd like to do at university. And that really what she wants to do is to play hockey for England, so how old does she have to be before she can be given one of those hockey shirts with her name printed across the back. I suggested we'd better aim for the Olympic team then. And she smiled.
If only as adults we could deal with our disappointments so well.