Having seen lots of people engaging in the daily writing challenge, I really wanted to engage, as a way of being involved, to step out of my comfort zone and to perhaps write about something other than what I normally would. Let’s see how that goes.

Flexibility (noun): the quality of bending easily without breaking.

I feel this is exactly the path my life has taken me. I have needed to bend, reshape and adjust without breaking. Which, at some points, was much more difficult than these pithy words can describe.

A little earlier than is customary but inevitable nevertheless, we have started to see the tide of “well-meaning” but ultimate careless soundbites of “don’t worry about GCSEs and A-levels kids, I failed all of mine and look at me with my flash life”.

You see, I could have been one of these kids, the person these words are aimed at. During the time of my A-levels my life was a little turbulent to say the least. The daughter of a terminal alcoholic, I spent a vast proportion of my time waiting for ‘the phone call’… and it came, as it inevitably would, at 10am one sunny morning in May. Right before A-level exam season. And just like that, my life was turned upside down, in family turmoil, grief, regrets and anger.

Exams, university, life, on-hold. But, with the strength of support from a Mother whose flexibility could only be rivalled by a slinky spring, I couldn’t break. I bent and reshaped and took a deep breath and tried again. A year later. And didn’t break. And for that, I am so thankful, to my Mom, I owe this, not a pop-star looking for a few column inches.

Let’s not feed the rhetoric of something our children have worked for not meaning anything. These years of their life are THEIR LIFE, and a huge proportion of it too. Don’t belittle it by telling them it didn’t matter anyway. But instead, guide them in their own flexibility. Their efforts, and outcomes, will always matter, but what is more valuable, is what we teach them to do with it.