Our family is in that fun position of having three speech projects on at the moment - it's always a challenging time, especially when speeches are involved. The topics increase in interest with age. And even though we have been lucky enough to interview and do a photo shoot at our school canteen (for my Y1's Workers in the Community" speech), the Y6 speech about "Playing the hand you're dealt with" is so much more heart swelling and interesting.
I literally stand in front of my eldest as he eyes the computer hoping to get a "hit" of Minecraft, and mentally shake him by the shoulders. I've said to him - this is about you, this is about living to your full potential, using all the gifts you've been given. This is about going for it. You are almost 12, you have the world at your feet. I didn't know this when I was 12, I wish my mum and dad had told me, like I'm trying to tell you. This is your time. You are amazing. Don't hold back. GO FOR IT!
And as I bleet on, he gives me a bemused look, and gives me a "sure Mum" and "are you done?" kind of look.
Is it me? Am I just panic stricken because I see my years racing and my "time" disappearing at great knots? Am I trying to live vicariously through my son and will my other two have to suffer through their mother as well? And am I trying to put my expectations onto young shoulders that have only started their journey. Probably.
But then my eldest came rushing through after a last burst on his speech. He was excited and proud of himself, he explained what he'd written. He read it out, beautifully, and it was beautiful. Because for a moment, however long it lasts, he got it.
And as a mother that's all I'm trying to do. To help my kids to have beautiful moments like that. To see the world of opportunity at their feet. To see all that they are capable of.
This is the beauty of experience, and sharing that knowledge and learning from all the twists and turns we've taken in our lives. I want my kids to look forward at their lives with vision and unwavering focus.
I want them to dare to be great.
Do you get this? Can your children see the world as their oyster?
* Thank you for this perfect image