Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Turning up

“You always come to these parents lunch weeks.”

It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to work out why. As a single parent I am not left with a whole lot of options.

I do try to attend as many of the school functions as I can, and can bear.

Thing is they are generally very dull, and I do fear that I will actually lose the will to live during one of them.

It is also very difficult to gauge an event's importance and the impact my attendance, or non-attendance, might have. Often notice comes at short notice and in the form of simply a title and a time.

I think they should come graded like films.

* = If you have absolutely nothing else to do.

***** = Miss this and scar your child for life.

These events are all very nice – in theory – and I do appreciate that they are infinitely more important to a child whose sole recent purpose has been to contribute to them.

Which is why I always try to turn up.

The second thing I do is to make my presence obvious.

Thereafter I just concentrate on surviving them.

I want my child to know that what he is up to is important to me, but I also think there is some mileage in not always being able to turn up.

It's a delicate balance, I suspect a young child will only see it as you not being interested or being further down your priorities than whatever is preventing your attendance. But it also expands a child's mind to know that the world is bigger than their school walls.

I am a parent that is rarely missing, and I hope it is my repeated attendances that my son retains happy memories of, rather than stowing away the few times I am unable to turn up.

Conversely I witness and ponder the exact opposite in other kids. The genuine thrill in a child because their parents have finally turned up to one of their gigs, and I do wonder if those children will hold on to those thoughts rather than dwell on the persistent absences.

Sadly due to a prior commitment I am unable to take up an invite to a mock wedding this week, which won't be the only one I'll be avoiding.

Both hopefully * ranked events.