When you become a parent there are milestones to be reached and recorded, the first word, the first step, the first day at school - the list goes on. Each one fills your heart with pride to the point of bursting. It is as though nobody else's child has done it in the grand scheme of life.
As your child grows, the patience and understanding grows too as this little baby turns into a person with their own opinions and ideas. You notice yourself smiling as their little traits come out, who do they take after? and, where did they get that idea from? Their interests begin to materialise and then the nurturing begins. Clubs and trips along with the obvious 'Mum and Dad's Taxi Service' on constant standby.
The trials and tribulations start as they get older and their ideas start to clash with others that they have grown up with and friends change. A parent's job now involves the empathy and guidance to see them through to keep their individuality and not do things that make them feel uncomfortable with themselves.
Then the teenage years start. Oh yes, the hard times where everything is 'so unfair'. Hormones kick in, spots appear, hair sprouting everywhere and mood swings - oh boy, mood swings! To top it all, exams, exams and more exams. The parent's job becomes the counsellor, police sergeant, public enemy number one, peacemaker and never, ever to embarrass! Trying to keep your cool, trying to entertain, trying to support. 'Trying' being the buzz word.
And so, this week the milestone for Mr Teen was the end of his GCSE's and the final signing off on his last day at School! Yes, my baby boy has turned into a school leaver. I desperately wanted to be there when he walked through the school gates for the last time but due to a huge event I couldn't. This 'difficult' teen who has spent the last few weeks thinking I am some sort of prison warden while he studied and fought through his GCSE's decided to make sure I didn't miss this milestone and called me from his mobile as he walked through the gates and walked down the road.
His voice was happy, relieved and euphoric! Something that a parent just couldn't miss. Another milestone achieved.
The next milestone? College boy in September!
Being a parent feels so hard sometimes but moments such as a simple phone call made on the spur of the moment to keep their parents involved in their lives is priceless. All the hard work has been rewarded by that brief conversation and I am so incredibly proud.
The photos this week are a continuation of last week's Heritage Weekend. This is the Dean's garden at the Cathedral on and around Tout Hill which is within the garden. It is on the site of a medieval Motte and Bailey Castle. The mound was called the Motte. On top of the motte was a wooden tower which would provide a stronghold. There would be a large courtyard alongside the motte and this was called the bailey and would have a strong gateway often with a drawbridge.
And now, it is time for a little bonfire with my son and a ceremonial burning of uniform!
Have a wonderful weekend and week.
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