Sunday, 15 July 2012

Footsteps on the floor

On Friday, my daughter had her graduation ceremony from her Infants school. I was very lucky and had a seat on the front row.

There were 60 children taking part and they put on a really funny play about how far they had come since Reception class, when they couldn't dress themselves, had accidents on the floor and wanted their Mummies! They reenacted the classes they had enjoyed, and pretended to be in a time machine, going back to the First World War and the Great Fire of London. They did impersonations of their teachers. Some of the children pretended they were doing a boring PE lesson and broke into some fantastic street dancing. And then they sang their hearts out in two beautiful songs about working together and having self-belief. I was absolutely in bits.


"I can do anything I want
I can climb the highest mountain
I can feel the ocean rolling wild and free
I can be anything at all
I can climb the highest mountain
If I just believe in me"

My daughter has had a really hard year because she lost her Grandad just before Christmas. So for most of her Autumn term, she barely saw her Dad after school as he was at the hospital and her Granny was always sad. Since her Grandad died, life has still been very different and for a while, she lost a lot of confidence and needed a lot of reassurance and cuddles from us and from her Teaching Assistant.

So when I saw her dancing on the stage with such confidence and a smile on her face, singing her little heart out into the microphone, I thought my heart would burst with pride. At the same time, I felt a tinge of sadness that she is coming to the end of the age of innocence and I wonder what life will be like for her in the Juniors and as a teenager.

I work with children with mental health difficulties and I am all too aware of the pressures upon young children today, to be thin, to be popular, to be cool. I just pray that she can keep some of that confidence that I saw on stage when times get tough. I hope she can continue to believe in herself and what she can achieve.

I realise that I am an important part of that process too.

On Friday after school, she raced outside and was jumping on the wet trampoline. Then she ran in across the kitchen to grab herself a snack. Part of me was ready to yell at her for leaving soggy footprints across the floor. But after she had gone, I stood with a cup of tea, looking at these tiny feet, realising that they wont be tiny forever and they wont be in this house forever. I am determined to cherish every day I spend with my children, try not to nag and and allow her to be confident and free.

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