To my beautifully average child,
Every week your little heart floods with hope that today could be the day; maybe this will be the week that you get a certificate from school.
Today, as we set out on the school run, you told me how you felt sure you’d get a “caught being kind” award this week because of all the people you’d looked after. You told me about Lacey who’d hurt her knee, Lilly-May who’d lost her coat, and Archie who had been stuck with his maths work – all beneficiaries of your empathetic, helpful nature….
Your heart is full of hope. Mine is full is cynicism. I know how hard you work, and I know how thoughtful you are… and I know that nobody ever notices.
You are the average child.
The average child
You are firmly in the middle – not a high flyer and not a straggler. You don’t sparkle at sports and you don’t suck at them either. You keep up with the level of work… but you don’t exceed expectations or fall behind. You are a good reader… but don’t stand out or need extra help.
You help your friends quietly, away from the limelight, without doing it for show. You do it because you care for them, not because you care for certificates. You still believe the falsehood that the the teachers will notice you busily beavering away but, the reality is, unless you make a song and dance of it, they won’t. It’s not their fault – they are just too busy.
The class teachers look out on a sea of faces and they don’t see yours. They see the ones who get full marks or no marks at all. You are the invisible middle ground – compliant and hardworking, but not demanding or attention-seeking.
In assembly today, a tear slipped down my cheek! Your name was not called out for an award. Again. You were not singled out. You were not noticed. You were not acknowledged. As the headteacher commented on the children sitting nicely I saw you sit up so straight, you almost arched your back – you were begging to be seen, desperate to please.
But you were passed over.
I see you
But I see you.
My whole being swells with pride when I think of you.
You have faced hardships beyond your years, tackled them with courage, and come away smiling.
You do your school work every day without complaining, slowly plugging away and getting things done. You are the most thoughtful child I know – your ability to empathise and read situations would put most adults to shame. You have a real eye for colour and put clothing outfits together that I would never dream of… and yet somehow they work! You are fantastic at baking and, at just 6 years old, can be trusted to make them almost independently.
Just keep doing you, little one.
Being an average child is okay. In fact, being an average child is great – you are doing everything that you are supposed to do – you are right on target. You are keeping up exactly with where you need to be and developing at a completely normal rate. That’s all brilliant!
You are reliable and hardworking. You are kind and unassuming. You keep your head down and move at your own pace.
These are brilliant qualities.
And it doesn’t matter how many certificates you get. Your worth is an irrefutable fact.
So yes the world may see an average child but you are so much more than that. You enrich the lives of those around you. When you see that I am sad, you cuddle up next to me and offer me a sweet from your secret stash. When I am making tea, you always rush in to help me. When your sister draws a picture, you praise her so highly and demand that we stick it up on the wall.
I wept today because you deserve recognition…