For two years I have been frantically doing the ‘nursery run’. Some days with messy hair and no makeup. Some days as an “active wear” w8nker who rushes to the gym like a dog on heat. Some days with a grumpy face due to pms. Some days high on life, winning with flawless hair and makeup and feeling like a fox. So often I have not been present in the moment as I rush to get you there or rush to pick you up. Today I stopped. Today I reflected. Today I had a lump in my throat. Today I was beaming with pride. Today you graduated from nursery.
Today you graduated from nursery and I have something so important to say. But first I have to ask myself: am I ready to let you go? Ok, maybe I’m overreacting. It’s not like you are moving out. School though, really? That seemed so far away.
Daddy and I met with your lovely key-worker last week. We discussed how you love to write. The first day I watched you write your name it really hit me how much you have grown up. My baby can write real words.
You can count very high too. We discussed your amazing memory, that will definitely help you with all those exams. You most certainly get that from me but after kids that may go. Don’t worry, it is perfectly normal and it is called baby brain.
Whilst I am so proud of all those things you have learned and will continue to learn, there was something that really got to me. Something that matters the most above everything. The section of the report about your well-being. We were in for a treat. This is what it said:
Bonnie is extremely caring and kind. She always helps with new, smaller kids. She gets on with everyone and her presence is missed. When she was on holiday all the pupils kept asking when she was coming back. She is extremely funny and often makes us laugh.
The class remembered you because of the way you make them feel, not because of how high you can count or how well you can draw. Everyone has their own strengths that make them special. But what makes a person memorable? My message to you on this very special day is:
People will never forget how you made them feel.
You made a difference at nursery and for that I am bursting with pride.
Soon, we send you off into the big wide world. You will spend the majority of your day with other people. Those people, be it teachers, carers and friends that you meet along the way are going to have an impact on you. They will all have their own strengths, yet when you are older you will associate names with people. Names many find beautiful may appear ugly. Names you didn’t care for before will make you feel all warm and fuzzy. That is down to how those people made you feel. You will forget details along the way but you will never forget how people made you feel. The name Bonnie, that first beautiful word you wrote, makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I named your brother, partly, because I will never forget a beautiful, smiley boy I looked after when I worked in America. He had blonde curly hair and a smile that could light up the world. Just like our little, smiley, exceptionally Cheeky Charlie.
Some teachers you meet over the years will really make a difference. When I think back to my time at school, there are some teachers that stay with me for all the right reasons. All the things that were in your report.
To me – they were perfect for the job. They had an impact because they made me feel valued and important. I remember them even after all those years. I have forgotten the finer details but I remember how they made me feel. Even with my absolutely shocking baby brain. Even when I can’t remember what I did yesterday when friends or family ask. I still remember them. They still crop up in my mind.
You have made an impact. The class missed you when you were away on holiday because you made them feel good. You have left your little mark at the tender ages of 4 and that blows my mind.
My wish is that you keep that energy and passion that is bursting out of you. You keep that enthusiasm to learn. My wish is that you drown out the critics and sadly I know you will meet so many. Some days you will be one too. Remind people how to laugh with that amazing sense of humour of yours. Melt hearts with that kind and caring nature. Be someone people don’t forget.
There are days you will feel angry, afraid and sad. Know that those feelings are normal. Know that even the most memorable people get them. Never be ashamed of those feelings, those struggles. Talk about them. Ask for help. Find a passion that helps to heal your soul. I can highly reccomend running, writing, cooking and music. I can also recommend having a few cocktails and going out dancing with people that love you. But that is your choice. Be you.
There will be people along the way that try to change you. That makes me so sad. One day you will understand that the greatest happiness comes from loving yourself. It is the longest relationship you will have on this earth. If you learn to be happy with yourself, you will love harder too. Right now your favourite song is One Direction – What makes you beautiful. To me it is exaclty what your nursery report said. It is your quirky, funny and caring nature. Because you could be the most easy on the eye person in the world. You could be the most intelligent person. You may go on to make an absolute fortune. But none of it matters if you make people feel sad and you feel sad about yourself.
Sometimes as your Mum I get it so wrong. Some days you are so full of excitement and I am one of the critics. The noise can all get a bit much. I miss moments because I am rushing. Then I feel terrible. How amazing that you have so much energy to go out and enjoy this life?! Thanks for the days you remind me how to stop and laugh. Thanks for the days you are so caring and kind, they light me up. Keep making a difference.
Mummy Jojo x
This article was inspired by a talk I recently heard from keynote speaker, Gavin Oattes. He reminded me of what really matters the most. When I read it back it sounds like pure common sense. Yet SO OFTEN we get this wrong. Too often.
With a background in primary school teaching and a successful career in stand-up comedy, Gavin is now regarded as one of the most talented and sought after speakers in the UK. He shall feature in my next column in the Edinburgh evening news because his words moved me. Because he used one of his strenghts, his sense of humour to make an impact. His words had an impact on me. His talk will be hard to forget. Intelligence is a great thing. It opens so many doors but above everything else, let’s raise our little people to always consider how they make people feel.