Envy & Pride & A Hat

Antony’s school has a Twitter account that they use to keep parents informed of what’s going on, sharing pictures of children doing their work, etc. They highlight children who’ve done something amazing, such as being kind or excelling at a particular task.

Sometimes, when I see other children from Antony’s class featured, I feel a pang of envy. It’s completely irrational, but it’s there. As a parent I feel that Antony should be featured every day because of what he has to overcome just to do what for other children is normal or natural. When he strings together a 4- or 5-word sentence, I want to hold him up in front of the world and shout about how amazing that is, and how hard he’s trying.

We had parents’ evening today. This was our first one — when Antony was at nursery we talked to the teachers pretty much daily so knew exactly what was happening. It’s a bit different this year; we have a decent idea of how he’s adapting to full-time school, but not a lot about how he’s doing academically. Well, let’s just say that I’m full of pride after our meeting. He’s excelling and struggling where we thought he would — his photographic memory means he’s picking up phonics and numeracy skills really easily, but he struggles with fine motor control and in the social and communication aspects. But he’s settled really well, and everyone seems to adore him.

In a day that was full of firsts, Antony went to school with his special hat to protect against bumps. He was so excited to wear it playing out, especially as all the other kids were interested in finding out what it was for. I know that the other parents will see him wearing it and wonder, but while part of me doesn’t want him to be obviously different, I prefer him to be safe.

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