Today Is A Day I Hope To Never Forget.
Today was Parent’s lunch at LM’s school. They invite the parents in from her class to sit and enjoy lunch with their children and it’s something I would urge everyone to do given the chance.
But, it didn’t go as simple as expected….
Due to expecting a parcel delivery today, I was at home. Provided with no real time slot, I was living on a hope that it would arrive before it was time for me to head out the door.
In the morning, I explained this to LM. I explained how that I would do everything I could to be there, it meant a lot to me. Perhaps I’ve seen way too many films where the busy parent misses the events of their child’s lives. It’s never really the parents fault, it’s life. But it always leaves you with that feeling in your stomach.
So, 11:30 came around and still no sign of the delivery. I can’t miss this I thought. Not today. Even though I explained I would make it up to her if I missed it, part of me knew that, that wouldn’t be good enough. She had been looking forward to this lunch for weeks now.
So I quickly got changed, hurried to do my hair, splashed on some spray, wrote a quick note to stick on the door and leapt in the car.
When I arrived at school and walked through the door it really hit me just how important this was. Her face lit up as her arm shot up and gave me a wave. I then sat there for the next 5 mins whilst the class each stood up one by one saying a few lines about what they do each week. It was finished off with a song (one that’s stuck in my head) but sung so gracefully. It was a proud moment for every parent in that room.
We then walked into the school hall, where we sat and waited for our child. As LM walked through the door she came up and threw her arms around me. Took me by the hand and we walked to queue for our dinner.
Lunch was nice, we chatted about our day, exchanged pleasantries (very grown up), I tried to steal LM’s cake (no luck) and then LM was joined by her friends. The fear of feeling like a 'third wheel' began to rise.
I can’t say what followed in the conversation. Not because of legal reasons (although… those possibly) but because of a promise I made. However, I can tell you (I hope), that it involved a certain boy and wedding bells.
I was sat there listening to these girls talk and I could have honestly been sat in front of 3 teenagers, it was remarkable. Giggling away to themselves looking over at these boys.
It was snowing outside, and conversation soon led to it being a “white wedding”. It then hit me…. This really is something that girls think about from an early age. There was me, at that age, discussing action man. Or how I’d fend myself in an alien attack (2 of many possible conversations) and there these girls were, talking about marriage. Awaiting their prince charming to sweep them off their feet.
So that was me, sat, looking, listening to these girls talk and I thought to myself…
Why do they have to grow up?
We finished lunch and I headed home thinking to myself…. I do hope LM remembers this as much as I intend to.
Finally, it left me with something to take away. We (as parents) all lead busy lives, we can’t do everything and it’s unfair to assume or guilt yourself into that. What you see on Social Media and what goes on in real life aren’t always the same thing. Do not be fooled, do not feel guilty and do not compare yourself to others. There have been (and will be) events that I can’t make, for one reason or another. But when it comes down to it, it’s not about just showing up that counts. It’s like Will Smith said in the movie Hitch… “When you’re in the room… Be in the room”
Thanks for reading.
Side note: Turns out I didn’t miss the delivery, it arrived later in the afternoon.