The morning of August the 15th was long awaited and struck fear and trepidation in the hearts of A-Level students (and their mothers) across the country. Daughter No. 2 and her peers would finally find out whether they had achieved the grades they required to get into their first choice universities.
Obviously, I was petrified for her. Not just petrified...heart-poundingly, stomach-churningly, butt-clenchingly terrified. I had spent the last few months with the phrases "Of course you will get the three As you need for Nottingham!" "Of course Nottingham should be your first choice!" "You should apply to Oxford too - I have no doubt you'd get in!"on repeat, assuring her that her hard work would pay off. And boy, did this girl work hard. There were sticky notes all over her bedroom with historical dates. Her Paramore and The Maine posters had been replaced with study timetables, each block coloured in as she mastered each topic. I had to question, not for the first time, if this was actually my child!
The Day of Reckoning has arrived and I'm actually starting to worry about what's going to happen if, by some cruel twist of fate, she missed out on a triplet of As by a couple of marks? Obviously, I don't want to voice this because she's feeling sick with nerves already.
We get into the school hall, me pretending to be all upbeat . The lady at the relevant table smiles knowingly - was that sympathy I detected in her face?- and hands Daughter No.2 an envelope with a sticky note attached.
Daughter No.2 automatically thinks she's failed and the headmaster wants to console her.
However....the girl has only gone and got not just three As like she needed; she's outdone herself and got an A* in History, one of the first for their Sixth Form! So Proud Mummy Moment for me and a ecstatically happy new Nottingham University Fresher left the school grounds that day, after the obligatory photo for the school website.
I'm not the sort of parent to give my kids false confidence; I don't think they can be anything they want no more than I can be the next Prime Minister, but hard work does pay off and, if the potential and drive is there already, I don't see anything wrong with cheering on a winner. Who knows where this journey will take Daughter No. 2 but I foresee an amazingly bright future for this little brainbox and she is this week's Favourite Daughter*.
As a sidenote, Daughter No.2 did actually thank me and Mr Mumbo Jumbo for pushing her as she probably wouldn't have applied for a Russell Group uni without our persuasion. She's also kicking herself for not applying to Oxford, "just for the bants".
* Joke: That position is always reserved for the youngest.**
**I'm still joking. I hate them all.