There’s more to learn than school

Reading my sons first ever school report as the end of reception draws closer, I was struck by the realisation that not only is time flying by but that he is becoming a little independent person in his own right, forming on a daily basis, his own thoughts and opinions which will shape the person he will become and what he will see as signs of success and failure in his later life. The weight of parenthood truly hit me and so I have been reflecting on what I hope and want for my son and his future.

Like many parents my aspirations don’t include top grades and University places and I couldn’t care less what he does for a living, how much he earns or what car he drives. Yes, education is important and money is a necessity but there is so much else. School is a small part of our lives. What we achieve academically and the job we end up doing does not define us, the person we choose to be, the way we treat others and the way we see ourselves and the world around us, that is what defines us.

I hope my son grows to be a free spirit. I want him to have the confidence and the self-belief to travel the world, to explore off the beaten track and to soak in different cultures, experiences and adventures.

I hope he is an open and accepting human being. I want him to view everyone as equal and to be free of the constraints of what society tells him is the norm or right.

I hope he sees beyond religion, skin colour and sexual orientation to the soul inside of a person. I want him to learn from those around him and to experience a variety of friendships, learning that although there are things which make us different there is more which makes us alike.

I hope he question his surroundings and his life. I want him to push himself towards his own form of happiness whatever that may be.

I hope he falls in love. I want him to experience relationships, the good and the bad as every experience teaches us so much about ourselves and others.

I hope he finds someone, male or female, to love as much as I love his father, someone to push him, to drive him forward, someone for him to rely on and to share his life with.

I hope he is compassionate. I want him to care about other people, not just his friends and family, but the wider world, what is happening in it and how he can help.

I hope he is healthy. I don’t ever want him to suffer physically or mentally, health is everything.

I hope he knows he is loved. I want him to always feel secure and cared for, I want him to always have a safe place to call his own, at first with us and then with the person he chooses to share his life with.

I hope he is self-assured. I want him to have the confidence to make his own decisions, to follow his heart even when it’s frightening and different, I want him to chase his dreams and never look back.

I hope he creates his own benchmarks for success. I want him to be content in his life and his decisions and to not feel the need to judge himself by other people’s expectations.

I hope he is comfortable in his own skin. I want him to be an individual, proud of who he is and what he achieves regardless of what others are doing or what they may think.

I hope he knows we will always be proud of him. I want him to know deep in his core that we will be proud of him no matter what he does or who he becomes, because he is our son and he need be nothing more.

Most of all I hope he is happy. I want him to be happy always. Wherever life takes him I just want him to be happy.

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