They might call them ‘Parent Conferences’ here but sorry, I can’t break the habit of a life time, it’ll always be ‘Parents Evening’ to me.
There are many occasions throughout every single day since we got here when I weigh up the pros and cons of living in Hong Kong, or not living in London, whichever way I want to look at it at the time. When it came to Joshua’s first Parents Evening here in Hong Kong, there were definitely more pros than cons…
To me, Parents Evening in November would involve first of all being allocated time slots which would then be the start of yo-yoing messages from people trying to swap their allocated time to a different less inconvenient slot. Then there are the arrangements to be made of trying to pursuade a grandparent to come and watch, and probably, feed the kids so that I can get to school. That’s if I’m lucky. If I’m unlucky the kids would have to be bundled into the car on a cold November night to be dropped guiltily at a family member or friend who would watch them for me. Of if I’m particularly unlucky I’d have to take them both with me to school!
And because of these tricky situations I’ve had to negotiate in the past, yesterday I fully appreciated the fortunate nature of my Hong Kong lifestyle which meant that the only thing I had to worry about with my 5pm slot was the actual feedback I was going to receive from Joshua’s teachers! Having full-time live-in help meant that I left the kids having fun at home, knowing that someone else would be cooking their dinner, clearing it all up, playing with them and possible starting bathtime etc if I was running late home – and I didn’t have to feel a bit guilty or rushed! I guess people in London who have au pairs also have that luxury, but to me it’s a much appreciated novelty.
As I was getting ready to leave, I decided that as it was such a gloriously sunny and warm afternoon, I’d get changed into my gym gear and possibly walk home afterwards instead of getting a cab if things were running on time. And they were. So I did. Because I could. And it was whilst I was walking home that I fully appreciated the lucky position I’m in at the moment that I could just do something like that on a whim if I fancied.
Oh yes, Joshua! The feedback was great. His teachers have got him sussed out pretty well. He excels at Math (what can I say, that’s what he calls it now – it’s MathS, MathS, MathS!), his Hebrew writing is a million times better and neater than his English writing (!), Mandarin is one of his best subjects (but of course) and according to a project that was on display about where do the kids see themselves in 20 years time – he’s going to be an ‘Aquarium-man’ in ‘Singerpore’ with 4 kids, boys of course, whom he has named after his best friends from Rosh Pinah, gulp.