Friday, February 10, 2012

Expectation management

When I became a Dad I had a really strong sense of what my son would be like. It was a certainty that he would be a rugby player, outgoing, loud and keen to chat.

Eight years down the line I've been proved completely wrong. It took me a long time to adjust to Eben, he tested me. He taught me a lot about the assumptions we make every day. He also taught me that you have to adapt the way you behave and deliver information dependent on who you're dealing with. He also exposed my greatest weaknesses, he challenges my worst behaviours as a human being.

The love I have for him is gut-wrenching, it's a feeling difficult to describe, but it literally feels like someone pulling your insides out through your stomach. Yet he's so far from what I expected. I doubt I'm ever going to stand on a rugby touchline and cheer him on, he is not in the slightest bit interested. I have had to learn that he feels huge discomfort in the presence of new people and I have to ensure he can find a place he derives some pleasure from on the day and eventually participates on his terms. Oh, he is loud though. Yeah I got that right.

Why the reason for the post? Well I went to his parent's evening last night. It's quite a nerve-racking experience a parent's evening. Ultimately you don't really care how they're doing academically as long as they're around average. What you really want to know is how they're getting on in the class, whether they're enjoying it and that they're comfortable. He appears to be all those things and more, but it made me realise how quickly he's growing up and how little you take real notice of that. Next week Nic's going away with the kids for half term so I won't see them. I need to make the absolute most of the next couple of days, because every second counts.

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