Today's Wednesday Words come from my son.
No, I'm not one of those parents who think that he is the next best thing to Confucious, but what he said is working a change in my life. It was two sentences.
"What do you want to do this half term?" I asked him.
"Nothing much, but I want to do it with you. Please tell me you won't do any work until Thursday?" he answered.
That got me. I know it isn't always fun for him being a teachers child, particularly because we go to the same school. Only one child has ever said to him that he could get away with things because he's a teachers child, and he laughed, because if anything, it's the opposite. He does a lot of waiting around whilst I'm in meetings, a lot of tidying up, a lot of sorting out, cutting out, helping. He loses days in the holidays in school, the floor of our front room is often covered in books whilst I'm sorting out, and he can alphabetise like nobody's business!
However, the idea that he had to ask me "Please tell me you won't do any work until Thursday?" hit home. I get up at about 4am, so that I can get work done and spend more of my evenings with J and AC. I work hard to complete all the stupid tasks that have to be done for the paperwork side of teaching, and all the cool stuff that actually affects the kids. I look for even cooler stuff in the holidays. I make things and try them out and plan and find resources and so on. It looks like I've been choosing my children, instead of my child.
But AC wants me to not to that until Thursday. That's the thing. If he'd have said "I don't want you to do any work this holidays." I'd have said that I had to, that the mortgage needs paying and the bills need paying and we can't do that unless I work. To say "not until Thursday" tells me that he knows all that, that he knows I have to work, and yet he just wants whole days of my time.
I'd like to think that I've given him lots of time when he was younger, and as he's grown up, I've let him be more independent. Maybe I've let him have too much time on his own, thinking that was what he wants. Turns out, he's not as big as I thought he was.
So I chose him. I didn't do any work until Thursday. We snuggled on the sofa and watched tv. We played games together. We went to the Mart and I went on Superbob and the Waltzers and some other nausea inducing ride because I've never been to the Mart with him - his father always takes him. We walked into town and went for coffee and chatted about nothing and everything. He said that he had had the best holiday.
I'm trying to keep this up now we are back at school. Today, for the first time ever, I'm going to his Story Cafe. I've never been to a Story Cafe - I have 30 children who need me to be there instead. Today, I've rearranged my PPA, (thanks to a lovely friend) and I am going. Today I'm choosing him.
That's why the words of my son are the words I've chosen, and those two sentences are changing what I do.