Last night I was drinking and today I'm suffering. So, as I lay in my bed I grabbed my phone and took a stroll around the blogosphere. It is rare that I look to extend the blogs that I follow. I don't follow many but, the ones I do, I love and I can devote the time to reading them but would struggle with many more. Today, I stumbled upon a new blog, and a particular post, that was clearly moving for both the person writing it and for me reading it.
The post was by Some Mothers Do Ave Em and can be found here. The post tells, in a very moving way, the concern of one mother for her son. It made me cry a little - so please go and read!
It also triggered a memory of mine and, if I may, I would like to take you on a trip into my past. To the period just after the the ex-wife and I had split and the hostility levels were such that I felt uncomfortable attending the school parents evening with her. However, I did have concerns for my daughters education so I contacted the school and asked if I could pay a visit some other time. They duly obliged and I arrived at the school early one morning for a one to one with my daughter's teacher.
There were so many questions I wanted to ask:
1) How can it be that my daughter has suddenly gone from the top of the class to the bottom?
2) Do you think that she may suffer with dyslexia as she seems to be finding it very difficult to pick up reading?
3) Do you think her confidence has been dented as a result of my split from her mother?
I'd asked the first two questions and, whilst the answers I received would turn out to be totally incorrect, it was the answer to the third that changed my perception of this particular teacher.
After I asked, "Do you think her confidence has been dented as a result of my split from her mother?" the teacher looked at me and replied,
"No, not at all. In fact I have had to tell her not to put her hand up to answer questions in class as no-one can understand her." (As well as the dyslexia my daughter suffered, in the early days, with a speech impediment).
The answer to this question came like a blow to the head from Mike Tyson. It winded me. I looked down at the small table, to the ground and then around the classroom. I was in a daze. I looked anywhere but, at the teacher. I was shocked to hear such a thing. I was angry. I looked down some more trying to compose my thoughts. I stayed like that, motionless on the outside, furious on the inside for what seemed like an eternity.
I looked back up at the teacher. I didn't mutter a word but my face must have told the whole story. She sat back in her chair. She looked a little apprehensive.
She looked into my eyes and the apprehension turned to worry. She could see that I wanted to grab her by the hair and throw her around that classroom! She could see that I now, firmly, believed that she was the root of my daughters cracked confidence.
I didn't throw her around the classroom - the fact I had been brought up to respect teachers wouldn't allow it. Instead, I stood up, thanked the teacher for her time, shook her by the hand and walked out.
I felt shaky. I sat down on a concrete step and started to cry.
I knew then that the confidence of my daughter had been fractured and that it would take many a long year to rebuild it.
I love my little girl.