Results day. I know I should be pleased for them. I should say “well done” to all the children of my friends that I’ve watched grow up with Max. I’m trying, promise. But the wild gushing of how incredibly bright they are, how hard they worked, how much they deserve their 15 A*s. Well, do you know what? I’m not proud of them, I’m green eyed with furious envy.
You see, my Max sat his exams this year too. Actually, that’s exam in the singular but that’s another story. He studied, he revised. He threw himself into the subject with everything he’s got and he failed spectacularly. He was always going to fail, I knew that too but there is something deep down that feels unfair about how hard he tried. The fact is that in order for people to get A’s there must be others that get C’s or fails. I just didn’t want it to be him, he could do with a win. He’s only 16 and his life has been so damn hard. I wonder how many other mums have spent time today with fixed smiles on their devastated faces? How many of their friends simply forgot that their children also sat a couple of exams? How many chose not to ask?
It’s all a bit ridiculous I know. But when our children were little and we heard the news for the first time that all was not well, we began to live a day at a time. We lurch to the next seizure, the next time they walk into a road without looking, the next MRI the next set of ECG results…fingers crossed every night as you fall asleep. Odd, but at the time, you don’t think about your little one never learning to read properly, never going out on the town with their mates (if they have any) or getting to GCSE results day knowing you’ll pretend the day isn’t happening.
Of course, it doesn’t end there. This is just the beginning of a much longer journey. No conversations about which university courses they’re interested in or what they’re going to do during their gap year while travelling around India. Instead its talk of if your local authority will continue funding their special needs 6th form that you nearly killed yourself fighting to get him into and then will he be able to get a job? How are his medical needs going to be supported? Will he ever leave home? Will he be lonely? Scared? Will bad people take advantage of him? Can I keep him safe?...I’m just so incredibly scared.
“If at first you don’t succeed, lower your life expectations.”
That used to be a lot funnier.
BUT....self-pity is terribly unattractive. Instead, I shall probably wallow for a little longer then pull myself together. I have to focus on this being his journey and it mustn’t be measured against other people’s journeys. Like all of our original children, they will hopefully grow up to be original adults. It has to be our job to take these ridiculous exam feelings and put them in a box, burry the box at the bottom of a lake then napalm the lake.
Big deal that other kids got 15 A*s today. Are they seriously going to grow up happier than Max? Will their lemon meringue pies make eyes roll in glee like his do?
So, stuff you world and the way you decide to measure success in my beautiful boy. That world can go spin. I’ll have another piece of pie thank you very much.
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