...when you feel so proud you could just curl up into a ball and squeeze yourself to death with the sheer pleasure of it all?
I have a severe sinus infection at the moment. This means an ongoing sore-throat, headache and ear-ache.
Nurofen and Telfast are my friends.
So, as you can imagine, when my daughter's end of year Dance Extravaganza came up yesterday, I was less than enthused.
100+ semi-competent teens jumping around a large stage to the raucous howlings that makes up todays hip-hop and r&b while 200+ assorted parents, grandparents, siblings, neighbours, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers clapped their happy little hearts out for 3 hours was not my idea of a good night in. I'd just had the kids returned to me after a two week hiatus and just wanted to chill with the family before the rush of the weekend.
However, Cassie is at a rather trying age, and I had to show her that I still love her, despite EVERYTHING, so I bought my ticket, popped her in the car and drove the half hour to Midland. We, naturally, arrived 2 hours early because Cass had to dress, gossip, rehearse, gossip, primp, gossip and preen, with a touch of gossip. Apparently a friend of hers had declared herself to being bi-sexual and this was BIG news! (I had a quiet chat in the car with Cass afterwards telling her that all teenagers have uncertain feelings as to their sexuality at this age and that she needs understanding and support, not gossip)
Cassie is beautiful, witty and wise. She's also hormonal, moody and monstrous. She's having a crisis of faith after 12 years of being raised in the Jehovah's Witness religion and is playing around with Paganism (Yes, Chaosmanor I would like you to chat to her :))
After three years of being judged for leaving said religion, I've decided to adopt a 'live and let live' attitude. As long as it does no harm, then leave it alone. I did, however, want to find out why Cassie wasn't considering returning to the Witnesses as a possible option. I wasn't pushing it as a preference, just probing where her thought processes lie.
"Do you still believe in God?" I ask her.
"I don't know. I think so, but I want to explore all the possibilities. I've never known anything else."
"Nor do 99% of the population. Everyone is raised with their parents ideals, and then make up their own minds later as they experience life. Or not, if they find they just don't care."
"Well, I want to look around now so I can make an informed decision."
"I'm just a little surprised because you had developed such a personal relationship with God."
A pause of about five seconds and then:
"I used to have a personal relationship with my imaginary friends, Honour and Telly. Eventually I grew out of it."
She blinded me with logic.
Proud moment number two!
We shall now return to proud moment number one.
So, I've got two hours of nothing to do, so I head down to a local food hall for sushi and a glass of red wine. Yes, I know, preservatives in red wine exacerbates sinus problems and yes, my head ache went up a notch, but I enjoyed it anyway.
7:30 comes and my former father-in-law and I settle into our seats.
The first three numbers come and go and I do the dutiful, clap-clap-clap thing.
Then it's the fourth number and my little girl is up there, all jeans and attitude, dancing her way across stage. I can see the hard work and determination and I have that first flutter of pride. That's my baby and she's good.
A few more numbers and my suspicions are confirmed. No-one has got it as together as my Cassie. Yes, their steps might fall with a little more precision and their execution is a little more perfect. They may even have better timing. But there's something missing, some essential something. Oh, well. I guess their mothers are impressed, anyway.
Then she's up there again. This time it's ballet and she's gliding and leaping to "Something Wicked This Way Comes."
She's breathtaking. My little monster of short experience but large opinions is dancing with grace, poise and dignity and my heart breaks. She's so beautiful.
Hence proud moment number one.
A note about my former father-in-law. In my marriage I felt extremely close to Jon's parents. My own weren't much to write home about, but I developed a closeness to my in-laws and missed them greatly when Jon and I separated. Fortunately G and I have maintained a good relationship and chat easily when together.
When I was six months pregnant with Cassie we all went to a bbq for the son of a friend of theirs who was getting engaged. It was a hot January day and I was hot and tired and the baby was kicking the hell out of me. Just when I couldn't take much more Jon's dad pulled me close and let me rest my head against his shoulder. I dozed for a couple of minutes, all I needed to refresh myself and keep going. I've been fond of the man ever since.
Last night, as I watched Cassie kicking her way around the stage in her flowing black skirt I remembered that moment and decided, it was worth it.
Here it is.
Proud moment number three.
People have a short patience span when it comes to Aiden. I think he's remarkable. Intelligent, caring, sensitive, funny. When it comes to what makes the human race special, he's the whole package (rather like my beloved). He has strong moral values but sometimes gets sidetracked by the vagaries of life.
Cassie and I arrived home just after midnight. Connor woke up during the night, hungry and in need of attention. He woke up again at 5:45 for much the same reason, plus a bad case of nappy rash for good measure. I got him up and undressed him whilest running a lavender bath.
Aiden, bless his golden heart, comes into the bathroom and says "You're tired mum. I'll look after him while you get some more sleep."
Just repeating it makes my eyes water. What did I do to deserve such a lovely child? He bathed Connor, held him while I dressed him and then fed him Weet-bix and a bottle. Then he played with him so I could go back to bed and have a bit more of a lie-in.
Naturally, I had to blog about my wonderful children instead.
They are just amazing.
And now, Blake has just woken up, come and given me a big hug and kiss good morning.
I'm having a good-child-day!
Have a lovely day yourselves.
Several hours later: In news just to hand we have a new contender for quote of the day:
Cassie when caught swearing in front of her non-swearing mother:
"Oops. Oh my god. Sorry. But, but, well it doesn't mean I don't have a good vocabularlary (sic)"