Yes, I have kind of named this post after my new favourite song. (Ed Sheeran, check it out people, it’s beautiful.) But I also actually am thinking out loud.
OK , i’m not. I’m just thinking inside my head. But I don’t want to change the title so…..
I often wonder if I am doing OK . There isn’t a day that goes by where I question if I am doing things right.
It gets hard. I have two beautiful and crazy children and it is a scary thought not knowing if you are getting things right. I am responsible for other people. I have been for eight years. And I am sure there have been days when I haven’t quite hit the mark. We all get them.
But something happened today.
I got my children’s school reports.
And I cried. Yes, you read that right. I cried.
It turns out that I must be doing something right.
I don’t think I can even say how proud I am because there isn’t quite a scale. The proudness is off the charts.
This girl right here? This is Leona…….
She has given me eight years of joy, happiness and love. She amazes me day by day. She has an attitude, but it’s a good one. She stands up for herself in a way that I never could do for myself when I was her age, and I love that about her. I’m not worried about her being picked on because I know she will handle it the right way. She will tell them where to go without stooping down to their nastiness. But at the moment, it’s a moot point. She won’t be picked on. She is too strong for that.
Her school report didn’t particularly come as a huge surprise. Since the day she started school she has excelled. I’m not JUST being a boastful Mum. It’s a fact. She really is excellent in everything and I don’t know how on earth I got so lucky.
Every Mum thinks their children are beautiful right? Right. Course they do. But as I studied Leona the other day, it hit me with force just how beautiful she really is. I don’t mean in just a Mum way. I mean in an every day life way. She is energy, she is positive, she is sunshine…. I could go on. She is tiny, I mean… she isn’t going to win any medals for tallest pupil or anything. Everything about her is small. Just dinky. Her five year old brother is almost as tall as her. But man is she forceful. Her size isn’t an issue. She walks through the playground or the park and everyone sees her. It fills my heart with joy when you hear children of all ages, girls and boys, calling her name for attention. All of her teachers have told me how she is liked and respected by everyone, children and adults at the school. And the report today touched upon it again.
Now she is eight and has lost most of her baby teeth, she is starting to look like who she really is going to be. And let me tell you, that girl she is going to be will wow you. Her nose and cheeks have these freckles that come out in the sun especially and her eyes are greeny/grey/blue. Her hair is fast going brown even though she started off in life as a bright blonde with an afro. After being bald for two years……
Her adult teeth are all coming through and they are so pretty and straight,. I think she is going to have a slight gap in her two front teeth, which is so awesome. One of my best friends has a slight gap and she is one of the prettiest humans on this planet. Model status! I think it is unbelievably cute. Leona has her own style as well. For example, she has come to the conclusion that she likes baggy tops. With the most girly skirts imaginable. Today, when she got home from school, she put on the last top I brought for her which is an age 9. It is massive on her but she insisted she wanted it. Even though she is 8, she still easily fits into age 6 clothes. So this age 9 top really does look massive, but it looks good. She wears it off the shoulder, then teams it up with a denim skirt that has patchwork lace on it and floats around like she is doing the catwalk. In short, my daughter is already turning into a teenage and will no longer let me influence the clothes she wears.
So yes, she is beautifully stunning on the outside. The most beautiful girl in the world in fact.
But like her school report showed today, she is the same on the inside. She is kind, loving, smart, funny and talented. Her teachers can’t praise her enough and neither can I. It is so hard to explain what reading a report like that means. She is excelling in English and Maths. She really is a clever little thing. She has manners. That is important to me. So many kids don’t these days and that is such a shame.
Leona is everything I could have ever wished for and I am so unbelievably proud of her.
Then we come to Lex. Little Lex man. Known as Alex at school, it is really only me and a very few that call him Lex. It doesn’t confuse him, he just accepts he has a million names!
Lex has always been harder to figure out. If Leona is feeling something…. happy, sad, tired…. the whole world knows about it. Lex keeps his feelings inside. He always has. I know I said it in a previous blog post but he literally never cried as a baby. He is a tough, quiet little fella and completely his own person.
Which is why I was so happy and emotional today reading his school report. I will ask him day after day how school was. And I get the same answer. “Good.” When I ask him to elaborate, he doesn’t. When I ask him to explain what he has done that day, he just shrugs and usually answers with ‘School things’ …. So it has been very hard to figure out just how he is doing. Of course he had those few horrible moments this year with the school bullies. Luckily that is all over now. But I wanted to know how he was getting on in general. I wanted more than a one word answer and this report gave me that.
I would never under estimate Lex. I knew he was clever. His teacher told me that when they first started school and he was only four years old, she asked the whole class to spell the word BACK as they were learning body parts. Half the kids spelt it BAK , Half of them spelt it BAC . Lex was the only one in the class who spelt it BACK and I was stunned to know that. That is beyond clever.
Like I said, he’s a hard one to figure out. Leona the little nerd, lives for homework. She really does. She will do extra homework just for fun. She spends her free time reading rather than on her kids tablet and says stuff like…. “Oh, Mum, I just need to practice writing down the runes from memory before I have a snack….” ….
Lex however, is tough. Luckily, his class don’t get any homework other than reading once a week at the moment. And even getting him to do that is hard. He can do it. He can do it beautifully. But he hates it!! It is a real struggle to get him to stop playing with his football or star wars thing …. ya know that long sword thing that lights up? No idea what it’s called…… long enough to actually read to me. As for writing, forget it. If it isn’t required, he will not do it.
Which is why I was so thrilled to learn that not only is he doing all this at school, he is doing it with ease. He is excelling. In everything. The teachers mark the reports with Emerging (Building up to it) , Expected (At the expected level for age) or Excelled (Beyond age limit) . Seeing all those ticks next to excelling was such a great moment, and I really am not meaning to boast but I am so proud. It takes such a huge worry from my mind about how he is doing. Turns out he is quite the mathematician. Which is shocking because I struggle to add two and two.
When I asked him about the report today and asked why he didn’t tell me he was doing that well and why he didn’t say all these clever things he could do, he simply shrugged.
“I just can. It’s not a big deal.”
Ha! So then I bravely approach the ‘at home’ subject.
“But Lex, if you can do all these wonderful things at school, then you can practice things a bit more at home instead of refusing.”
He shrugged again.
“School work is for school though Mummy. I get to play at home. I concentrate at school. And I’m not silly, the big kids told me how much homework I will get next year so I am making the most of now.”
Well, can’t argue with his logic.
He can do things that I had no idea he could, and yes it makes me feel guilty that I didn’t know what my own child was capable of, but like I said, he is not an open book like his sister.
He is quiet. He is gorgeous. He has piercing blue eyes that melt your soul and a fixed camera smile as shown in his report. It is the exact same smile in every picture and it is hilarious. He seems to have really tanned this summer and looks completely exotic. His dark blonde hair is curly and wild. He will probably hate it when he’s older but I adore it and so will everyone else.
Just like his sister, he has his own style. Tank tops and shirts. He would live in tank tops if I let him. There were a few moments during the winter when I refused to let him go out in just a tank top 😉 He is also very sporty and loves baseball caps. I am sure it comes as no surprise to anyone when I say he certainly doesn’t get that from me. He still has all his baby teeth and he has cheeks you want to squidge.
He is the most beautiful boy in the world.
The one thing that makes him like Leona is the fact he is also stunning on the inside. His teachers have written how he is sunny and positive. He cares about everyone and everything. This particular line stood out for me. “Alex very clearly knows what is right and what is wrong.” These lines so often get blurred nowadays.
Working in retail , I cannot tell you the amount of times I have witnessed a kid, not much older than my two, screaming at their Mum because they won’t buy them something. Just a few weeks , there was this boy in the shop who was trashing everything on the shelves and shouting that his Mum was a fat fucking bitch. He looked no older than ten. How incredibly sad.
Lex really does know what is right and wrong. Both of my children do.
I am blown away by the report on Lex today, and so thankful for these two little humans that enrich my life daily.
Which brings me back to the point of this post. I often wonder if I am doing OK.
Since day 1, I have loved them, I have fed them, I have cleaned them, I have read to them, I have done things that their Dad should have been doing…. football, day trips, providing them with what they need. I work, I hate being away from them but somebody has to make them money. But along with all the things a parent should do, I have also had many moments of self doubt. When one of them gets ill and I sit up worrying all night. I worry if I am spending enough time with them doing the little things like reading and practicing their writing. I worry if Lex is getting enough ‘boy’ things into his day. Leona and I are very girly, and Lex is very boyish indeed. I try with the sports and star wars but a lot of it goes over my head. I basically just worry in case I am not doing enough in general.
I wonder if I am doing OK.
And after reading the reports today, I think I can say that I am. I am managing.
I don’t deserve the praise of course. No.
Every bit of praise goes to Leona and Lex. If they weren’t the children they are, my job would probably be a lot harder. Those reports are their own doing.
And right now, I am on cloud 9 which lands just on top of happiness mountain feeling prouder than I thought possible.