Why is it that when everything seems to be going smoothly, something always comes along to throw a spanner in the works? This week, both girls have been struck down with a sickness bug at different times. Thankfully they’re over it and back to school now. It has been a while since we’ve had one in this house and I hope that’s the last for a while.
It’s that time of year again when teachers are handing out end of year reports. A little reassurance that school is going well. It’s not about the academic side of it for me really, because I know they do their best. Instead, I use parents evenings and school reports to reassure me that they’re getting on ok socially.
There’s no need to be the most popular child at school. Having loads of friends is great at that age, but it’s not necessary. What I want to hear is that they’re kind to the children and helpful and polite to adults. I want to know that when a child has nobody to play with, my two will be their friend. It’s important to hear that if a teacher needs some help with something, they’re willing to help.
This year’s school reports for both of them were lovely to read. They’re seen as a pleasure to teach. They work hard and listen in class. Each has a few good friends and gets along with everyone else. They’re where they should be in terms of their learning and Libby did well with her SATS. Whilst Lia needs to build her confidence in speaking and being heard, she’s working on it and that’s enough. It has been a good year for them both.
Once a fortnight, the girls go horse riding. From the moment she gets back in the car after her lesson until we arrive for the next lesson, Lia talks about horse riding. She is totally in love with the pony she rides. At birthdays and Christmas, she doesn’t want anything unless someone can buy her the pony. Not any pony, that particular pony. Who belongs to someone, and isn’t for sale. When she grows up, she wants to be a horse rider. There’s no room for negotiation. It won’t be a hobby, it will be her job. It’s all she wants to do.
Then each time we arrive at her riding lesson, she’s full of excitement and anticipation. She gets her hat on, skips down to the mounting block and gets on the pony. Then, she cries. And screams. She’s petrified. There’s a fly. The pony put its head down to scratch its leg. The pony stops for a wee, or farts. Don’t even start me on the pony coughing. We have the same conversations every time. Please don’t scream, you’re frightening the pony. Do you want to get off? We don’t have to come riding, we’re here because you want to be. But she does want to be, she loves it. More than anything else in the world. And yet, she cries. Every single time.