Sunday, 20 December 2009

Kids’ prize-givings: I’d never missed a single one

The thing, when there are two parents, is that there is always someone on standby – to fetch and carry, to be present and correct, to ameliorate emotional matters.

So being one parent – with all its many, many pros – has that one con: that it’s only you. If you can’t do it, no-one will.

(Actually, not entirely, as I discovered when I was immobilised for many months, and my friends fetched and carried.)

But of all the things I missed when I was missing from the normal round of things, this one I missed the most (and I can hardly believe, given how much I’ve whinged about it in the past, that I’m saying this, but I am): at my daughter’s prize-giving at the end of this scholastic year, she won three prizes, a certificate for Maths and two cash prizes for English – and she wasn’t there to receive them, and I wasn’t there to see her get them. A nasteh first.

My children’s father long ago lost interest in their day-to-day triumphs and failures, so it has always been literally doubly important for me to be there for them. So, for instance, it was really vital for me to be there when my daughter was made a prefect in grade 7, and she and I were only the only English people up on the stage accepting this honour AND she was the only one with a single parent there to represent her (all the other kids – Afrikaans to a man(boy/girl) had proud mom&dads standing behind them), and I thought Well, at least I’m here. Hey, I may have been an English woman, and indubitably I was dressed inappropriately (because, and I’m not making this up, I always am), but by god I was there.

This might explain why, when I saw the animated Disney movie Up, and the little boy Russel gets his badge at the end, and there’s someone there to stand up for him, I cried so hard I leaked mucus all over my duvet. So please be patient with me for posting this pic of my kids, embarrassed practically out of their heads, when I insisted on snapping them and their certificates after a prize-giving a few years ago. Aw.

Anyway, I missed my daughter’s prize-giving this year, for the first time, and I just want to put on the record that it is the only time I have EVER missed a school function of either of my children, and I only missed it because I literally couldn’t be there. Really, of all the things I missed, I missed that the most.

At least it came with a cash prize, and she went out immediately and spent it lavishly on really silly fashion.

I am SO proud of her!

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