... your children do something that astonishes you - usually the naughty astonishment variety - I'm thinking of the day eldest brought a bottle of green food colouring into school . You would have thought it was St Patrick's day judging by the colour of his classmates' shirts as they emerged at the end of the day. Then there was the unfathomable reason as to why youngest might have thrown his school shoes onto the roof or the day eldest broke the pane of glass in the front door because he'd
" forgotten his keys ".
But then there's the good astonishment variety , all too rare but all the more wonderful for it. Last night was one of those. I went to see youngest in his GCSE Drama performance at school in front of the examination officer and filmed - no pressure then. He hadn't let me practise his lines with him , had barred me from going anywhere near his group's rehearsals this weekend in our kitchen, forbidden me from looking at the script he wrote unaided.
I wasn't sure what to expect . You could have knocked me down with a feather when he chose to study Drama for GCSE. He'd always thought of acting as 'showing off ' - I knew what he meant. I'm one of those squirming in my seat when I have to watch over exaggerated shouty dramatic performances. So fast forward to 7.30 pm Thursday 29th April - a moment now indelibly etched on my conscious mind and one I will never forget .
Out he walks onto the stage, confident and self assured and delivers what I can only describe as a mind-blowingly powerful performance that left me stunned and sobbing in my seat. He played the part of a man suffering from mental illness on the brink of suicide. So compellingly believable was his performance that I had to stop myself from leaping onto the stage and wrestling the sleeping pills from his clenched fist. So caught up in the moment , a single tear slid down his cheek as he delivered his final line. I could barely breathe.
Watching his classmates hug and congratulate him as he walked off stage reduced me to a blubbering wreck. On the way home he told me how proud he was that he had done something well , adding the saddest footnote ... " I'm not very good at anything but it felt good to do well tonight ".
Oh my wonderful, beautiful boy. You will never realise how talented you are.