Thursday, August 9, 2007

Mediocre McEwen

There are many shining stars in the firmament, but the majority of us must be content with the occasional twinkle.

Whilst I have many talents, I have failed to shine. [translation = resolve to practice buffing]

The trouble has always been the same one, the trouble of being a ‘good all rounder.’ I have dragged the ‘good all rounder’ label around with me, for many a long year, but that’s often the curse of the middle child.

I will share with you, a little secret. I was Christened with the name Carol Ann Madeline. Then I was a very small person and had no say in the matter. As the years passed, I grew bigger. My older sister was the svelte, mysterious beauty of the family, with the brain the size of a coconut, a role I coveted. My younger brother was the hansom, suave rogue, with a matching brain, a role I also coveted. My role was ‘piggy in the middle,’ by default. When I reached boarding school, I swapped roles and became ‘Carol the barrel,’ which did have a certain ring to it, and blended well with my former family role in the swine department.

Overall, my youthful years were unremarkable but I juggled with two alternatives; ‘could do better / a good effort’ on each termly report. [translation = semester] I think it would be fair to say, that I had the attention span of a gnat, bored easily and had no degree of patience whatsoever. As such, this was not a sound footing for later parenthood.

When parenthood came later, with my daughter, and then later still, with the next batch, I was ill prepared for the vortex. I learned early on that I was not capable of shouting over three screaming children who moved very quickly and erratically. I needed to find an alternative.

Prior to the diagnoses of the boys, I did a very strange thing. I read every parenting book that I could lay hands on. [translation = British people did not need to read parenting books] When this source of information fizzled out and failed to provide answers, I tried parenting magazines and newspaper articles, before I admitted defeat and carted them all off for an evaluation.

After the diagnoses, I burned the midnight oil whilst I occupied myself in what I would hesitantly, call research, on the web. [translation = tiny mediocre brain] During this time, I kept bumping into blogs, something which was also unknown to me. Answers were still pretty thin on the ground, but daily life continued, relentlessly. Therapies enveloped our lives, where I learned a great many useful things from observing the experts.

Sometime between then and now, I changed. I lost my stiff upper lip. I practiced being an Italian. [translation = animated face with lots of hand gestures] I changed my voice from it’s polite but sarcastic tone, into that of a cheerleader. [translation = or my best approximation] I could list for you the many changes that I’ve undergone in middle age, but that would rather miss the point. I hardly know that woman any more.

But the answer to the question about patience, lies in a lengthy learning curve. It is the ‘teachers’ that deserve the applause.

The Teachers

15 comments:

flutter said...

I think you deserve some of it, too. But, they are some awfully cute teachers.

Awesome Mom said...

I hardly recognize myself any more. Parenting really does change you especially when you have kids with special needs.

Linda said...

Looks like you have a lovely teaching staff there. Funny how much kids change us, isn't it?

gettingthere said...

Let's hear it for the teachers and their very hard-working student.

The Anti-Wife said...

Let's hear it for the middle child. Overlooked when younger but awesome as we age! You've done very well!

Steve G said...

Nice post.

Heidi said...

Hardly mediocre! Just look at those lovely kids!

Skewedview said...

After four daughters, I can attest, they definitely knock the edges off.

riseoutofme said...

What a great job the teachers have done and are still doing!

Life certainly is an education!

Isn't it wonderful that you hardly recognise the former you??

Would you want to go back there?

Onwards and upwards.

Josie Two Shoes said...

Ooh, I so agree with "anti-wife"! And isn't it amazing how we keep on changing and adapting long after we thought we ever could? You amaze and awe me Maddy, I think you handle things swimmingly... far better than I know I ever could. Your patience with your little teachers just delights me - one could learn so much on child psychology by how you handle things!

Jerry Grasso said...

We in the blogosphere are better for reading your interesting, enlightening and fun posts

Niksmom said...

God bless the teachers and their very apt pupil. Maddy, you've graduated and gone on to tutor others!

Oh, The Joys said...

So... how long til the patience comes? Because I am desperate.

Carol said...

Great teacher pic! So true... sometimes I wish I could have been more of the person I am now back then, but realize I am the person I am now because God grew me into that with all the experiences, struggles, joys, triumphs, losses, etc. of my life along the way.

slouching mom said...

This is a lovely post.

Yes, your teachers are fabulous, but you are an excellent student.