A week. Waiting. Watching the post. Veering from utter confidence in the knowledge that it was God that led us to this boarding school and that his promise to keep Tiddles in the palm of his hand was not in vain, and then to the other extreme of not daring to hope for fear of disappointment… and then the hope that God won’t be disappointed in my lack of faith, yet trying to be open to letting God’s will be done rather than mine…. if I’m feeling like this, what on earth is Tiddles feeling?
Despite my fears that he might be overcome by the situation, Tiddles really did me proud. He did his very best – looked good, talked well, said the right things and cannot have failed to convey how right this school is for him. The only thing that is going to mess things up for him, I’m sure, is my interview. I took the decision, or rather the decision was made for me as I just cannot act any differently, that I would be open and honest in the interview. I knew that if he got in under false pretences it wouldn’t work out anyway – I wanted them to be aware of where his difficulties lay as well as how perfectly the school would meet his needs. I pulled no punches. When they asked about his behaviour at his previous school, I told them. When they asked about why he behaves in certain ways, I filled them in. When they asked if I could afford to send him there, I told them I couldn’t but I would! And when they asked how I had first found out about their school I told them. “At the risk of sounding like a religious nutcase, cos I’m not the kind of Christian who goes around saying ‘God told me in a dream’, I have to answer that question honestly and say ‘God told me in a dream’.”! They wanted to know how important my faith was to me, and also how much it was important to Tiddles…. and they asked him the same questions when he had his interview too, despite it not being a faith school. Could go either way, I guess, depending on their opinions.
I was impressed that when the Head commented on how smart Tiddles looked (his own choice of clothing, I hasten to add), he answered better than if he’d been coached: “Oh, I always like to look smart if I’m doing something important”! He managed it without a flicker of a smile too, considering the circumstances.. I’m not sure if I’d have done as well. The thing was, he chose to wear his suit. He looks gorgeous in it – black trousers and blazer, pink shirt and grey tie. He got dressed just before we set out, so’s not to get breakfast on his clothes… and discovered …. he’d picked up his brother’s trousers and they didn’t, and I mean didn’t, fit! Disaster! Fortunately we’d slipped his blue trousers in the bag, thinking that if there was a problem he would probably get away with wearing those. He put them on and.. we discovered that he is suddenly getting a lot bigger. Oh dear. He might have got away with trousers that looked rather small. He might have got away with trousers that didn’t match. But trousers that were too small and a different colour were a total disaster. But what could we do? Apart from wearing his jogging bottoms, there was no choice.
We set out. The printout we had of the estimated journey time said an hour and a half, so we decided to allow two and a half hours, for an 11.30 appointment and if possible to call in somewhere en route. Moral of the story is never to believe estimated journey times generated by computers which, if they were to get behind the wheel of a car, would be a menace on the roads. The journey itself took two and a half hours (with only a slight detour at one point where the road signs decided to disappear completely just at the point when we were almost at the school) so we did arrive at the school fifteen minutes late (which went unnoticed – we just cut our thirty minute pre-interview tour of the school in half as we’d seen it so recently before !).
We passed a Tesco – no clothes there, and that seemed to be the only place en route. Finally, in the last town before our destination, despite time being slightly tight, we raced into Sainsburys as the poster outside said they did clothes. And so they did. Children’s clothes, up to age 8, and ladies’ clothes. AAAGGGHH! So what did we do? Well, hanging there on the rail were a really rather classy pair of black trousers. And what’s more, they looked about right. A quick exchange of money at the till, a race to the car and a wriggling competition for Tiddles as he changed trousers in the front seat while I drove madly off towards the school. And I have to say, he looked really good.
I so want for him to get in there. Please God… teach me to say “your will be done”.