More about bringing up boys including dance camp and A Levels!

I started off rambling on about dancing this morning but I have shelved that as I want to write about my wonderful talented boys and being a Mum. Yesterday was A levels results day. I am not going to write about grades but it is a marker in time. In our society it is now one of those rituals that mark the end of school and the anticipation of moving on. Ten years ago I turned forty and was not happy. I had lost my Dad and my marriage was unravelling. Two years of sickness, death and dying had taken its toll and I was exhausted. Come the autumn I was a single Mum seeking work, fighting to keep roof over our heads food on the table and attempting good enough parenting for my boys. So for me A levels marks the decade of parenting with a tangible result.

Here we are now adjusting to living with lovely man and daughter and my boys are settling in and quite frankly going with the flow. They have up sticks left the town they know and out of love for their mum trusted me that it will be alright in the end. It does feel that we are more settled but I am conscious that old house still there needs to be sorted sold to finally move on and indeed reap some financial benefits and prizes for our big move! As large boy turned 18 and passed his A levels I got a contract phone for him yesterday. We commented on the fact this has been achieved by moving and getting new job- my teen boys said yesterday – we can/shall live like normal people like our friends do!

We have just returned from dance camp and my two boys approached this in their usual ways. Large boy didn’t come but managed to happily fend for himself for ten days including using a washing machine and buying food from the shops. Oh yes and he has learnt how to catch a bus and read a timetable. All good life skills possibly better than an A grade in further Maths!
Night before we left for camp smallish boy insisted that he needed to take 4’x4’ canvas with us for him to paint as there would be nothing for him to do. Two hours later (by then lovely man had poured glass of something strong and slunk off) I felt pleased with myself that I had negotiated trip to shops for smaller canvases and brushes!

So before I shout out as a proud Mum regarding A levels I need to tell you small boy’s achievements at dance camp:
This year smallish boy sang in the choir. He happily stood in a group of folk, became a team member and shared his lovely singing voice and performed. This is the boy who hid under tables, swung from curtains and did not join in clubs or groups. He also wove a chair, learnt how to play cards with friends, did archery and flogged the whole camp my left over jewellery making him a tidy profit to take to gran’s house. He had a place to grow, develop and be his wonderful creative self.

My large boy got great results. Not what he was expected to achieve but A grades and B grades are very respectable. I am so proud that he has worked hard and has studies with passion even when I do not believe he had the best support. It seems to me my boy did most of his studying alone with little extra support for the final push from his college. They did not finish teaching his syllabus and offered little advice or guidance. We fumbled through it together and are still doing so now 24 hours later. I am a well-educated woman but with no background in science have only really offered loving support.
Anyway the bit I am proud of is how my boy approached yesterday. He reflected on his B grades and made some wise observations about himself and quickly moved on. Rather than just accepting the course his chosen university had offered he looked online, calmly found what he wanted and negotiated a place on an MSc engineering course he does want. At this point he considered whether indeed this should have been what he applied for originally, hindsight is a wonderful thing!
He then spent the whole day remaining calm whilst ten phone calls were made to try to get his UCAS application updated. This included persevering on the phone, remaining polite and calm in adversity and indeed letting Mum help him at right point. We indeed have the final bit to do today!
I am so proud of my boys. As they are now both taller than me and one shall soon be leaving home I wonder if I can still call them small and large boy. Individually they are both exploring their own passions and creating their own realities and becoming my lovely young men!

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