The main inspiration for this post was the immense sense of pride I felt at our first ever parents evening at a secondary school last night. Son number 1 has been at his new school for just over a term, and it has absolutely been the making of him.

Where at primary school, he struggled with social situations, he now has a close group of friends who are really important to him. And while he has always excelled academically, we worried that he would struggle to find his place at a selective school where everyone else was really bright too. But oh no, if anything it has driven him on even further. Every single teacher we talked to last night spoke of how well he’s doing, what a joy he is to teach, what a great contribution he makes to the class, and so on and so on.

The highlight of the evening was when one of his teachers (I won’t say which, just in case!) leaned over and whispered, “I know you’re not supposed to have favourites, but, well, he’s my favourite.” I’m sure our cheeks went slightly pink at that point. Our little superstar.

But he’s not the only source of pride among the Fourboding troupe. At 3am the other morning, I was awoken to the sound of a crying child. Now I’m happy to say that this is not something that happens at all often in the Fourboding household: it’s usually a sign that someone is ill. So I descended the stairs with huge trepidation, expecting to find a large pool of vomit in someone’s bed, or something else similarly gruesome.

But instead I was greeted by the sight of son number 2 sitting on twin 1’s bedroom floor, telling him a made up bedtime story. Apparently the little one had woken up in the dark and was scared that he wasn’t going to get back to sleep, so his big brother came to the rescue long before I could drag myself out of bed. Within minutes peace had been restored and everyone went back to sleep. What a lovely thing to see.

The twin in question happened to mention during this little night time adventure that at some point during the night, his first tooth had come out. Perhaps not much to be proud of, but it felt like a big moment, realising that everyone in the Fourboding household is now a member of the big teeth club. He also made me proud with the beautifully written note he left under his pillow for the tooth fairy, having realised that at some time before morning the tiny little tooth had been knocked on to the floor and disappeared. You’ll be glad to know that the tooth fairy showed her customary compassion by forgiving this little mishap, and he got his £1 anyway.

Twin number 2, meanwhile, couldn’t wait to show me, when he got home last night, the medal and certificate he had earned for passing his ballet exam. Even better was the beaming smile on his face to accompany the presentation of these awards.

And last but by no means least, is Mrs Fourboding herself, whose achievements in recent weeks have certainly not gone unnoticed. The fact that, within weeks of starting her job hunt, she was able to land an extremely prestigious job with an extremely prestigious company was a source of massive pride. The fact that, despite the enormous struggles she has faced in adapting to working life having spent the last 12 years as a part time freelancer and full time mum, she has stuck it out and made the very best of a very hard situation, fills me with admiration and gratitude.

And to top it all, last night she showed me an email that had been sent round her company, singling her out for special praise for the work she did that enabled them to win an important new client. She doesn’t do things by halves, my wife. Well done U.

Now all I need to do is figure out a way to earning a living, and then maybe one day I can be proud of me too.



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