I didn’t manage to post here over the weekend – but that was for happy reasons. On Friday my good friend and her daughter arrived for the weekend, and then on Saturday, I had my belated 50th birthday party. I did fret about it beforehand, but it went well, and everyone seemed to have a really good time. One friend from my nursing days, and her daughter, drove up from Bradford for the party, and drove home afterwards!!
It was a really good evening, and I felt very loved. My friends were definitely the positive things all weekend, with their lovely words, kind gifts and just being there. The friend who stayed organised a present for me – a journal that all the party guests wrote in – I still haven’t read it all, but I think there will be the odd tear.
Sunday morning did have the odd tear too – No1 son packed the car, and headed south to start his new job and his new life, as a grown up who has left home. I know he still loves me, and I know he will come home, but this is another step away from the closeness that you get in a family with school-age children, and it was a bit of a wrench (a lot of one, if I am honest). But I am proud we have raised someone who can achieve a good degree and find himself a job that excites him and that has really good prospects, and I must hold onto that pride.
My friend and her daughter headed home yesterday, and I went to knitting group – where everyone told me what a wonderful time they had had at the party. N dropped me there, and came in for coffee, then came back later to pick me up.
Lots of positive things from my friend – but the thing I am choosing for my one positive thing was a lovely conversation I had with an elderly gentleman. He’d spotted me crocheting, and when everyone else had gone, he plucked up the courage to come over and tell me about his mum, who used to crochet all the time. In the course of the conversation I learned about his five sisters and their talents, and about his career as a physics teacher. His degree is in maths, but like many really talented mathematicians, he struggled to explain concepts that he found natural to people who didn’t – so he chose to teach physics, which had always been a struggle for him – so he could empathise with pupils who found it the same.
I told him about my dad, who used to teach maths and who, as Head of Department, got to allocate teachers to classes. As such, he could have chosen to teach the top sets, the brightest and most motivated pupils, but he always chose to teach the lowest sets, what they called the remedial groups back then – because as he said, it was so much more satisfying to help someone understand a concept that they were really struggling with, and see the light come on in their eyes when they did understand it, than to teach the motivated pupils who grasped things easily. The chap I was talking to said he liked the sound of my dad, and was sure he’d have got on well with him – and he was right. I do miss my dad.