My daughter is finishing her last year of school and we, her parents, have been asked by the school to write her a letter outlining her “redeeming qualities”. Implying, however unintentionally, that there is something to redeem. And in a final year of school where stress, work, general teenagerness and more stress have taken their toll, I suppose that is a reasonable assumption. It would be so very easy to list her annoying qualities. After all, the title of this blog sprung from a morning spent trying to find lost items in her room.
But then, it’s always easier to point out faults. The positive has an alarming habit of sounding schmarmy and false. (Especially for my kids who regularly reply to my attempts at encouragement: Well you have to say that, you’re my Mum) Where are the words of admiration, hope, blessing, understanding I want to write? I feel completely inadequate to this task. My first draft reads a little like a letter to myself when I had just finished school. 12 long years where I hated almost every moment. But my daughter is not me. She has flourished where I floundered. Perhaps that is all I need to say. That, and the fact I’m truly glad that the days of hunting for school socks are over for one child at least.