Saturday, September 16, 2006

past, present, future

Something happened last week that made me feel closer to Dawson Leary (our editor) ..and Ed Wood (the camera man). I was organising tickets for our premiere screening (big screen and red carpet thank you - yes, I'm being serious) when I noticed that neither Dawson or Ed had asked for parent tickets. Since they were picked out of 100 other possible candidates to be part of the movie project it really was a pretty big honour. I couldn't understand why parents wouldn't want to come.

I had a private conference with both Dawson and Ed and inquired whether they had even asked their parents about the tickets - perhaps they had forgotten (they are boys, after all). But no, both had asked and both boys' parents did not want to be part of the night. Both said that it didn't matter and shrugged it off, but I wasn't fooled by that. I was immediately transported back to my own childhood and being in similar cirumstances of glory - school musicals, music recitals, dancing concerts, choir and the like and how rarely my parents came to watch. It just devistated me. I used to beg and beg them to come but they just didn't see it as important to be there. I always felt that everything I did was so devalued and unimportant. I know they loved me but they just didn't see 'being there' as a support for me. I did. I always thought the other children must have felt so special to have people really want to see what they were up to - a lot of children always had parents, grandparents, cousins and other notables at their concerts. I truly felt that I must be some kind of nothing to rarely have anyone there. After a while I simply stopped inviting them to things and organised my own lifts and pick ups and made dumb excuses for why they were never there. There is still a part of me that is really hurt by that and feels forgotten and undervalued. The fallout from that is now when friends and the like don't remind me that they "see" me then I simply think they've stopped caring. I know that's dumb, but I can't help it. I do try to depend only on myself like I did growing up but sometimes I'm a worse critic on myself than silence could ever be. I can't seem to win.

Anyway, I could see myself in Dawson and Ed - my heart really went out to them. I knew what they were feeling and though I can't force their parents to always be there in the future I can so something now. I went and saw Prin and Vice and explained the situation. They both agreed with me that it was a shame for the boys. Of course I was more than prepared to pick them up and drop them home, but a teacher is not the same as a parent. I can't give them all the validation they need and deserve. Parents need to do that. I asked Prin to ring their parents and gently inquire whether they were coming to the premiere and Prin agreed that was the best tactic to take. She rang them and now one parent from each of those boys is coming. I don't care if they felt intimidated into coming because it's important to the boys that they're there.

I saw Dawson after school yesterday sitting at the computer, no doubt onto his next grand project. I told him that his Dad was coming to the premiere and his face lit up like Christmas lights. I don't think I'd ever seen him so excited. Really? Are you kidding? he said, with a big grin on his face. It was validation enough for getting 'involved'.