Dear OFS Community,
Last weekend, Mrs Calvey and I faced a moment that we really weren't prepared for, packing our eldest off to University, with headlines in the news suggesting that students might not come home for Christmas! It seems like only yesterday that he left Orley Farm and suddenly our hallway was full of pots and pans, towels and bed linen not to mention the guitars and amplifiers - good luck to his flatmates! However, the M4 offered contemplation time as we returned from Bristol and it inspired Monday's 'I Love You' Assembly...
I asked Middle and Upper School what were the conversations that took place in their homes this morning - what were Mum and Dad saying / asking? Here are the actual replies shared by your children!
Have you got up yet...?
Have you eaten breakfast...?
We're going to be late...why didn't you pack your bag last night?
Don't hit your sister with the car boot...!
Yes the last one is quite specific and certainly necessary instruction! In turn, I asked your children what were the conversations that they started with you this morning...here were their responses:
Mum...where's my tie...?
Dad...what's for breakfast...?
I don't want to get up...!
OK...I know I'm responsible for my brother...!
In the first week of this year, I talked about habits and how to change and form new healthier habits. We were all in agreement that none of us want to start our days like this so the next question was:
'What do you think your parents want for you?'
For me to be happy...to have friends.
For me to try my best in whatever I do.
For me to be kind to others...
And the final question was, 'what do you want from your parents?':
To be kind and understanding, especially when I get something wrong.
Attention, to understand what I'm going through.
A baby brother or sister...!
Yes that last one might be coming as a shock to one family - it came from a Yr4 pupil and I won't say more than that!!! I do sincerely hope that over the coming week, we can have conversations within our families about the kind of messages that we really do want to be having to start our day.
As a father, I'm looking back on all of those missed opportunities over 18 years and wondering what kind of morning my son is having this week!
However, I would like to close with something that a Pre Prep parent sent me last term as I insisted that his child add 'I love you' as they closed the car door at drop off - this clip made me smile and inspired my goodbye on Sunday night...
...As I left his flat, I offered to empty their recycling as it was literally overflowing in the kitchen. It shouldn't have been a shock, as his flatmates had only arrived the night before, but there was a lot of glass - I'm now thankful for the Orley Farm PSHE programme for covering the dangers of excessive living! The recycling bins were under my son's bedroom window so I called him to wave and then shouted at the top of my voice...
Joe...I Love You!
Here's the funny thing, whilst he tried to shrink out of sight and Mrs Calvey appeared to also distance herself from me...dozens of windows opened and a chorus of 'I Love you too...whoever you are!' echoed around Bristol! If one thing comes from this Assembly, I hope that we will all use our morning messages with a little more care as it sets up the day! Let's use our words and our time well...everyone ought to hear that someone loves them every day!