24 November 2008

Graduation day

Today is graduation day for my firstborn. I can hardly believe that my baby is 18 already and at 9.30pm tonight will officially finish his formal education. Any schooling that comes after this may still be formal but it will be because he wants to continue his learning, not because Mum and Dad have said "it's a school day so you go to school".

I just know that I'll have a tear in my eye as I watch my strapping 6 foot tall son with his mop of unruly blond hair step on stage to collect his certificate and say goodbye to school. I wish I could say he has enjoyed school but the truth is for the most part he found school boring. This boy finds learning easy and if the challenge is to easy or not even there then he wanders off to find something else to focus his mind on, something not all his teacher appreciated or really understood, but still they supported him and encouraged him to the very best of their ability. And now that stage of his life is about to end.

What the future holds I don't know. He's hoping to get into uni and we are hoping that he gets his wish. Whatever happens I have to know that I have done my best to raise a young man who is kind and caring, who doesn't have a selfish or greedy bone in his body and who takes responsibility very seriously.

Which is why his father and I have an appointment with our family solicitor to update our wills. Now that we have a legal adult as a child it changes a number of things for our family and we need to make sure that those changes are properly documented and recorded. It is so important to make sure that our dreams and plans for our family will be carried out if something unforseen happens to us.

If you haven't updated your will recently (and I believe it should be reviewed at least every two years) or God forbid, you don't have a will (and even if you are single with no assets and no living relatives you should have a will, if only to leave instructions for your burial) then take the hour to see a solicitor and get one drawn up. It is worth getting a will drawn up by a solicitor the first time, at least so you can gain some understanding of what is required. After that you can use DIY kit if you are confident that you know what you are doing. But whatever method you choose, write a will. Without it you are leaving a whole lot of worry and distress and I'm pretty sure that you don't want to add to your family's grief in any way.

Enough of the morbid talk. We are moving into the time of year that is supposed to be the happiest. I love Christmas and the summer holidays. I can't wait for school to be finished for Thomas and Hannah because I love having the kids home (but mainly so I don't have to rush so much in the mornings). We are gearing up for the big decorating day which if the kids get their way will be this coming Friday because they have a pupil free day. I've tried to tell them Monday is the first of December so we should wait until Sunday but their selective deafness kicks in and they just don't hear me.

Hannah has printed off the Advent calendars. I did wonder if they weren't too old for them but they all assure me that they'll never be too old and if I breathe a word to any of their friends they'll tell them I've flipped my lid and must be dreaming. They are quite cute, Christmas trees ready to decorate with coloured balls. There are 24 balls on the tree, one to colour for each day and the kids have decided to have a competition to see who has the most colourful calendar by Christmas Eve. I put the link to the calendar in this weeks newsletter but in case you missed it you can print one off here.

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