Lynne over at Giggle Fest will be your entertainment for today. If you haven't read her blog, please please do so. She is quite the inspiration and an incredibly addicting read. Enjoy!
By nature, I am a lively bubbly person but I don't really like to draw attention to myself because I am actually quite shy. I just cover it up with my humour.
So imagine my surprise when Holly, my daughter put me forward as an unsung hero in her English class at High School. I was so so chuffed cos well, to be a hero in your daughter's eyes is no small thing but I didn't realize that there were strings attached. I was still basking in the glow of being her 'hero', was grinning from ear to ear so I missed most of the next sentence but then 3 words penetrated my brain.........give a talk! WTF?
Eh? Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? Who me??? You are kidding right? That's when I really started paying attention and felt real fear! It turns out that the teacher had been so impressed by Holly's description of me and my life that she asked would I be willing to talk to the class about it. Holly, still seeing me as her hero said "oh I definitely think she would, when do you want her to come in?".
I was driving while she was telling me all this and I was gripping the steering wheel as if my life depended on it! Oh to have her confidence but I was struck with such nerves I could barely speak! I know, I can hear you all laughing now but for days after I had nightmares about being heckled by a class full of teenagers. They were coming to get me! The mere thought brought me out in a cold cold sweat. I wonder if teachers get like this after a while?
What made it worse was that the other parents asked to give a talk were a fire fighter and a nurse. They save lives for a living for god's sake!!! They were definitely going to be much more interesting and be able to captivate a teenage audience far better than little old me whose life consisted of dirty nappies, seizures, drool and at times some impressive 'comedy' sickness.
The day dawned bright and Holly reminded me that today was the day, as she left for school. I did lurch between 'it'll be fine' and running hell bent in the opposite direction at various times throughout that week but every time I looked at Holly and saw how proud she was, I would berate myself for being such a wimp!
I decided that the best way, was to just go without notes. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! Yeah well, I'm a hero don't ya know, no props for this girlie.
I walked into the school, informed them at reception that I was here and Holly came down to meet me. I was so wishing that I had a wee smidge of Southern Comfort to help with the nerves but hey that would have to wait.
When I walked into the class, I could feel my face get red. The teacher, Miss Innes, shook my hand and gave me a stool to sit on, in front of the white board. She explained that she would let me speak first but then the class would ask some questions which they had come up with in their groups. As I looked around the class, I started to relax when I realized that I knew at least half of these kids from primary school.
Once I started talking, you could have heard a pin drop as I explained Jack's diagnosis, what it meant, how it presented, how it affected us as a family, how many times we'd done the emergency ambulance dash. Once I got going, I found I had so much to say.
Fifteen minutes later I finished. I looked at Miss Innes and she was crying! I think maybe I explained things too well. I looked over at Holly and she was grinning from ear to ear so I knew that I'd lived up to her expectations. I found myself grinning back. I totally relaxed then.
The question and answer bit was a breeze. The questions were really interesting and funny, there were a couple that stuck out.
One table asked me whether I would ever put Jack into care, as one of the teenager's brother had been put into care. He had cerebral palsy. I told him that "at the moment, it isn't what I want for Jack but that you can never say never because my health could change and I might not be able to look after him then".
The funniest question was "who is easier to look after, Holly or Jack?". "Oh" I said, "that's easy, Jack definitely because he doesn't give me heaps of cheek, talk back and tell me that he hates me like most teenagers do!".
The class all looked at Holly and fell about laughing. Job done :)