Not wishing to depress anyone…but I’m at the end of my bloody tether. I just want one summer living the dream that it seems everyone around me is living. I mean, schools out, planning the holiday, all the kids want to join me, we drive off to sunny climes and have a ball together, building sweet memories of tapas and giggles, wearing strappy dresses (the gals) and drinking in the Mediterranean ambiance.
I’m bloody fed up of everyone I meet asking how the kids did in their exams, then suddenly remembering some fake appointment when I answer honestly. Or rambling on about their idyllic plans for the next two months – everyone has passed their exams, no one doesn’t want to join in and there are unlimited funds to combine a heady mix of ‘Club Med’ style luxury relaxation and cultural extravaganza.
Its June 30th. End of school in Belgium. I’m on leave for the next two weeks. But instead of planning the drive down to Marseille, Im looking forward to wall to wall begging sessions tomorrow, starting at 8.30am. “I know he failed all his exams, but he’s actually brilliant. So much so that school has simply bored him this year. Its all his teachers’ faults. None of them liked him. In fact they’ve tortured him all year (true). I mean is it reasonable to expect my (almost) 17 year old middle son to blindly memorise a load of stuff he isn’t interested in without ever asking questions or challenging ridiculous punishments (copying out 10 pages of a textbook, confiscating his phone for 5 months!!!) for crimes such as – borrowing a classmate’s book cos he’d forgotten his own or taking his phone on a school trip so that I could call and tell him where I would be on his return -? I mean really??” Hmmm….that won’t work. How about “Actually, he split with his girlfriend midway through the year and retired from life (excluding playstation) thereafter. She got with some other guy in the same school and he had to watch their relationship grow as he sank further into himself. I’m a single mum. I work full time and have two other kids, one of whom has serious educational difficulties and the other a competitive gymnast with a hugely challenging schedule. I just couldn’t cut myself into enough pieces to help him enough …….” That would be true, but it won’t work either. Hmmm….Perhaps not the truth then. I’ve got eleven and a half hours to come up with a plan. Wine seems like the best idea now. Thats my 8.30am sorted. Then I’ve a 12 o’clock with my eldest son. So, he has actually been kicked out of school and we’re off to chat the shit at a private school that I can’t afford, but which really could be the answer. A system I had no idea about before yesterday, aimed at helping people who just haven’t found their way in the classic system. A personalised approach that would make allowances for his ADHD and dyslexia and assorted other difficulties (including colour blindness !! why not?). But it costs almost 15k for the year. Hmm….why is everything helpful so prohibitively expensive? I’m going along anyway. We’ve tried everything and now I’m hoping for a miracle. Perhaps I’ll finally win the lottery tomorrow and then we can book that Club Med family dream-time on the way back from registering him at this new school. I know what I’ll be dreaming about tonight. Just one summer without the hellish pain of feeling my beautiful, sensitive and NORMAL kids having the curiosity of their young years smashed out of them by a system that judges success only against exam results. I guess there’s always next year…..