Will it rain or won't it, that is the question? It had been raining on and off during the run up to the final week of school and everyone was very keen for a dry end to the academic year.
Well, yesterday was Carnival Day; a day to celebrate the 'cultural diversity of the school'. The school is made up of many different cultures which are represented in varying degrees. There is the Irish community (lots of), Sri Lanka (also lots), various African countries (Ghana, Eritrea, Cameroon - a fair amount), Chinese (some) and the titchiest of all those represented, Lebanon (two!).
Well, half Lebanese, natch.
(Their good half is English)
Anyways, anyone who cares to, cooks, bakes or makes some food commonly found in their country of origin - we made (a lot of) falafel, houmous and batlawa (otherwise known as baklava which is of Turkish origin and similar to the Greek version).
So after the children had performed a variety of dance from their specified country, everyone lined up outside the hall to sample food from around the world.
I say "sample" but some people looked like they had deliberately starved themselves so they would be able to chow down as much as was humanly possible. The staff (myself included), reminded people that it was a chance to taste many different foods and that it wasn't in fact, dinner time!
Some people are pigs.
Still, that was yesterday.
Today was Sports Day, the chance for some children to excel at running whilst balancing an egg (or potato) on a spoon (like Joseph) and for others to stop halfway along the track, realising they're being left way behind and to burst into tears.
Being a member of staff at the school however, I couldn't really run to her, but thankfully a colleague ran to collect her.
That damn rubber quoit just wouldn't sit on her head and try as she might, it just kept falling off. I could see her looking around for help, her bottom lip beginning to wobble, seeing no-one and tried one final time before it all got too much for her. The offending quoit rolled unevenly across the playground and Missy stood still, a wail bursting forth with a 'more powerful than normal' force.
Thankfully however, her next two races resulted in 3rd places for both and the small laminated medal was more than enough recompense for the lopsided rubber ring (which had clearly been sabotaged!!!)
Like many people in this day and age, I have hundreds, possibly thousands of pictures and movies of the children, all stored on my PC. 99% of them make me smile and laugh when I look back at them. There are a few though, that give me a lump in my throat.
The little video's of Annabel running towards me at the finishing line are pretty good examples of this. The setting off a little late, only after she realised her friend's had started. Her little arms and legs pumping to catch up. The stopping in front of the finishing line rather than bursting through it and finally, the searching look on her face, hoping for a medal, wondering if she'd done enough.
You can tell your children as many times as you like that "it's not the winning that's important, it's the taking part", but when you're 4 years old, it doesn't make losing any easier.