Education, Family, Kids, Motherhood

She’s the kind of girl who’ll show up

We all staged a bit of a coup last week. Miss 11 (along with 32 other Year 5’s from her school) nominated to be one of 8 School Councillor’s for 2015. It was a pretty big deal for 11. They had to write and present a speech to their school and teachers and then they were voted in.

She can get anxious about things anyone, my second girl. She has my kind of shyness, which is based on not wanting to the wrong thing (you know, that whole shame thing). She always freaks out if it’s free-dress at school and she’s not in her uniform and we’re ready to go and she starts fretting that perhaps its NOT REALLY free-dress day and what if she’s the only kid not in uniform. I was the same. I also have only very recently got over my inability to walk into a pub or restaurant on my own to meet a group of people in case no-one is there or I can’t find my friends. Who would have thought?

So we both had to check the note from school OCD-style at least 40 times before speech day to make sure we had it all correct. She wanted me to help her write her speech, so I said I’d type up her words. I can not even tell you how much my heart got warm and kind of squishy when this is what she said…

Hi everyone

My name is (Miss 11) and I would love be one of your student councillors for 2015.

I’ve been at (This) School since I was in kindy and what I love most about the school is the team work, meeting new people and the way our school feels like a big family.

I would love to be a student councillor mostly because I would like to help people feel comfortable just being themselves.

If you can just be yourself, then you don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not and I would like people to feel like they can be open to tell other people their ideas.

I would also love to help keep our school nice and tidy, because it shows our school is a great space to be in.

Being a student councillor would mean I am part of a team that has more responsibility in the school and can provide people with the support that they need.

I would love to be part of the School Student Council in 2015.

Thank you for listening ☺

Doesn’t that make you want to squooooooosh her??? SHE said all of that.

She wouldn’t let us come to speech day because she said she was too nervous already, so I’m not sure how she went, but I feel so proud of 32 kids for standing up there and delivering their version of their speech. For some people public speaking is up there with spiders and death, and they all did it anyway. That’s so cool.
Now Miss 11 knows full well that the school will ring the parents if you get elected, so you know to attend the assembly where they presented. I got that call.

I had actually, up to that point, been wondering how I would deal with her disappointment at not getting in. Not because I don’t think she’s fabulous and perfect for the job but because there’s only 8 positions. And 32 kids. And because she’s missed out before and (like me) disappointment is hard for her to hide.

She missed out on competing for gymnastic this year. She did competition level gym, trained three times a week and worked at it, but by comp time she still couldn’t land her beam handstand which she needed to be able to do for that level. When she gets disappointed she gets sad first, and then angry and blamey and then quiet. And then she just processes it, and slowly the disappointment goes away. I don’t want her to feel disappointed. I totally did that thing this year where I (in an effort to protect her from more disappointment) have tried to blame the system, and suggested she don’t do gym next year because 3 trainings a week is not worth the disappointment of not getting in.

She still wants to go though. She still wants to do competition level gym again next year. And even though she might get disappointed again, what does that teach her? It teaches her to keep going. To commit to something. To keep working at and towards what she wants. To SHOW UP even when you might not WIN. Why would I want to save her from learning that?

This time though, I got the call. And I knew that she knew that if she was IN the school would ring me and tell me and I’d be coming to the assembly. I am not one of those mums who goes to all the school assemblies. So if I’m there she pretty much knows she’s getting some kind of award. So we had to stage a family coup of complete disinterest and attendance of the assembly for 3 DAYS! It was incredibly hard.

She kept checking in. I kept banging on about being really busy. I rang her Dad and her Nan to tell them to come and then she rang them to see if they were coming and her Nan said “oh I should be able to find some time to come, because it’s the last one of the year”. And every time she asked and I vaguely blew her off I had to allow her the disappointment I could see on her face and my heart hurt a bit that she had to feel that.

Until that moment, on Thursday, when she looked up from her seat with her class on the assembly hall (read canteen) and saw ME and HER DAD and HER NAN and HER BIGGEST SISTER (who got a special leave pass form work to be there) and our AU PAIR and her LITTLEST SISTER all STANDING THERE. SHOWING UP. AT HER ASSEMBLY. And I think her heart started to beat a little faster and she got flushed.

There are 8 councillors, when they had called 7 and her name hadn’t yet been called I did have a momentary anxiety attack where I had to go back and recall every word of the conversation with the deputy who called me to tell me she was in, because for just a MOMENT I worried I might have got it wrong. But then they called her name and I could not have been more proud (than the last time I was so proud of her that I nearly burst).

I could not look at the other 24 year kids who did not get in at first. They were making my heart hurt with their unhide-able disappointment. But then what can they learn? That regardless of the outcome showing up is more important than anything. And if they don’t stop showing up, they will find what they need and what their part in that is. I hope I would have been able to share that with Miss 11 if she didn’t get elected.

She’s a beautiful gymnast. She’s growing up and into an even more beautiful person. Thank you for choosing her so she has this opportunity to grow more. I know she’s the kind of girl who’ll show up.

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