The other day in work, I made daisy chains. Sometimes I skip, sometimes I practice Miley Cyrus dances. I knew I'd never work in an office. I'd feel confined and stilted. But I kinda fell into being a dinner lady. Ever the worrier, I figured it would a be a good way to find out how my lads were REALLY getting on in school. But now it's two years since they've left and I'm still there. It has it's moments.. some days are bad, some frustrating and now and again there are tears, and not just from the kids! It amazes me how badly behaved some children are and I wonder about their parents, but this isn't about them.
This is about the silent majority. Far too much time is taken up in education, discussing how to improve bad behaviour, tackling bullying and anti-social activities. Not enough people talk about the rest, the great unappreciated.
Most kids are wonderful. They're sweet, kind and caring. They're witty, cheeky and fun. They're understanding, forgiving and generous. Though it sometimes doesn't seem like it, we as parents are doing a great job! It sometimes feels like painting the front of your house - all those hours spent ensuring perfection, cleaning up the mess afterward. But we hardly ever see the fruits of our labour. What we forget is that all the neighbours see it, our friends see it... even passers-by see it. And I feel that in my job, I'm lucky enough to see the other side. To catch your kids off guard and find that you'd be so proud. We all want our children to behave, but sometimes we worry that we're stilting them. We want them to stand up for themselves, but we hope they won't start a fight. We want them to be liked, but like other kids too. And while we've been worrying whether we're doing a good enough job, they've been learning how to take what we've taught them and turned themselves into the person we'd love them to be.
So this afternoon, when your kids come home from school and you ask, like you always do, "How was school today? What did you do?" and they reply, like they always do, "Fine. Nothing. What's for dinner?", just remember.... they were magnificent, they were funny, they were friendly, they were cheeky, they were confident and most of all they were a credit to you! And I know, coz I was there!