Ok, anyone who knows me knows I don't do dressing up. I don't do witches hats; I don't do Karaoke, bright bold "look at me" statements. I prefer photos of myself to be vetted, and a million filters added to attempt to make me look less like death.
Basically, I don't do drawing too much attention to myself looking like a wally brain.
But when something means a lot to me, and to the kids, I sometimes have to take the plunge, pull my finger out, and remember it's not all about me. This happened yesterday.
Yesterday I took part in a Flash Mob on Lincoln High Street with my son and his school. Why? Because I want him to have as many options in the future as he can.
A bit of background would probably be handy?
He goes to a primary school which I am incredibly proud to be part of, and have recently become a parent governor of.
Year One was a tough transition; he's little, Five in August. He hates to sit down and write and read, he hates the fact he can't spend the day flitting between Peter Parker, Spider-Man and various other Superheroes, and on the first week back I had to forcibly drag him across the playground and leave him crying, before I ran to my car and cried all the way home.
But that's when something special happened. I came home and in my usual way turned to Twitter, just to remind myself that I'm not awful for leaving my biggest boy unhappy. Within half an hour the head teacher tweeted me telling me he'd checked on him and he was fine, he even took a picture of him smiling away in the middle of an activity, and reassured me it's what kids do.
This school year, I have seen a massive change, he comes home in the car and TELLS ME WHAT HE DOES! That's right, he doesn't just remember what he had for pudding at lunch, he doesn't just grunt and say "nuffin" he fills me in before I have chance to ask.
He races to the blackboard near his bedroom, insisting I follow, and draws the divide and multiplication symbols, he tells me about magic "e", he tells me about Cleopatra visiting and how to remove a brain from a Mummy (through the nose), he knows who Howard Carter is and how to say "Sarcophagus" and what it means (I KNOW). They do museum exhibitions to promote their work, and run by the ethos that you can do anything you want to do, and you know what, the kids believe this.
Now the school is wanting to open a Free School; a secondary school following the same ethos, that works on each child's individual needs, their strengths and gives them a commercial awareness that prepares them for the world whatever track they take.
I WANT THIS SCHOOL.
Sounds like I'm totally kissing ass doesn't it?
I'm not saying that there aren't faults. There have been weeks that we've had major tantrums over homework, where I've thought "this is too much" and tried to work out how the hell I'm meant to fit it in between swimming, tennis oh, and being a kid and having some down time. But you know what, you get round it. There have been times where I've realised I have to make another costume and have spent a morning scouring the internet for bug costumes, and there have been times where I haven't had letters which I need to fill in on time.
But these are minor. There are always gripes, and there always will be. it's the playground mafia after all. These gripes are forgotten quickly, because yesterday, my five-year-old boy stood up in front of the city and did a dance. FIVE YEARS OLD. And what he said afterwards is what made me know that I'm right to think this is important.
ME: "How did that feel?"
HIM: "Were you nervous mummy?"
ME: "Yes a little bit at the beginning" (for the record I was bricking it)
HIM: "Yes. I was nervous to begin with, but then I got a bit proud. Then I got prouder and prouder, then I was really proud of myself, it was great".
He was great. He is great, and he knows it.
I WANT THIS SCHOOL. I want it to open in September 2015 and be ready for my boys (oh and any other kids too I guess).
I went to secondary school a vibrant, confident, 11-year-old, and I came out a shell of that. If you didn't want to go to university you were nothing. When I made suggestions of different careers I wanted (working for fashion magazines, a designer, a writer), they suggested I go on work experience at a nursery. They didn't believe in you if you weren't an athlete and this made me angry and rebellious. It took me years to get that confidence back, I still lack a lot of self-belief, and I do NOT want this for my boys.
So why am I telling you? We need names. I know a lot of my readers aren't from Lincoln, but please could you share this around, if you have children in the Lincoln area who are at school age (especially Y4/5/6) please visit and put your name down here or here.
By putting your child's name down, you're not committing to this school, but you're giving yourself and your child a choice, an option to make an informed decision on which secondary school is right for them.
Aimee Horton - I write stories, features and blogs. I also like gin.
Blogs at: Pass the Gin
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