The first time you see your tiny Reception child up on stage dressed as a shepherd in a tea towel or an angel with tinsel on their head, it is a proud and emotional moment. Your eyes well up with tears at the sight of them. Then there’s the first sports day, when it doesn’t matter to you if they win their race or if they stop and pick daisies. Because that’s your child and they’re just so damn special and you’re just so proud…
Most likely, their dad is watching too. Perhaps their grandparents. Because this is a really big deal.
Then there’s the extracurricular stuff too – I remember my daughter performing her dance at the end of a dance class and there was me, my husband, my parents and my boys there to watch her! The very first time my daughter and I danced in a show, we were watched by my husband, my parents, my boys and my brother-in-law.
Fast forward 11 years from my eldest’s first nativity and the shine of watching stuff has worn off in our family. There’s just too many of these priceless occasions. And having too many of them starts to make them a bit less priceless. Especially when your baby is taller than you and doesn’t crack a smile.
Last year, my husband and boys opted out of watching my daughter’s dance show. This year, my parents did too. They’ve seen too many dance shows, too many sports days and too many assemblies.
Only one dedicated member of our family goes along to everything she possibly can. Me.
In 2016 I have been to see (and I may well have forgotten some):
- My younger son playing in a handful of school rugby matches
- My younger son playing in a lot of league football matches
- My daughter performing in Young Voices
- My daughter swimming in two swimming galas
- My daughter dancing in two dance festivals
- My daughter’s annual dance show
- My younger son’s sports day
- My daughter running in an athletics competition
- My eldest’s school concert
- My younger son’s school concert
- My daughter’s class assembly
To me, those moments are still priceless, just in a slightly different way. And it’s not fair to ignore my daughter’s sports day just because we’ve seen her brothers in too many.
My kids aren’t getting any younger and I’m aware these moments will stop soon. My son is in year 10. We’ve probably got one more school concert left before he moves into 6th Form. Will he still want to play his violin and perform in concerts then? He’s not even keen to perform in them now. And my daughter is in year 5. We’ve got one more year of primary school stuff and then we will say goodbye to primary school for good after 12 years. So there’s no way I’m going to miss out on those last few precious opportunities to see her perform or run or swim with her school.
The end of term may be just days away, but I’ve still got my daughter’s sports day to watch and my younger son’s drama performance. Then it’ll be September and we’ll start a whole new year of rugby matches and school concerts…
Do you watch as many of your children’s performances and sports days as possible? Does their dad watch as many as you do?