Monday's was a restless tossing and turning type of night for me. There aren't many things that get me nervous these days but I can tell you that I went to bed shitting some majorly large bricks.
Yesterday (Tuesday) morning was the day for A to get her GCSE results and I thought I'd take it calmly in my stride, being all que sera sera about it and mellow. Instead I spent the evening feeling more preoccupied than a Samurdhi officer turning up at Mervyn Silva's office for a meeting only to realise that I'd forgotten to light my mosquito coils the night before. I kept waking up in the night and thinking
"Oh shit it's A's results tomorrow"
A's a bright kid but far brighter in the realms of performance, drama and art than she is in the more academic lines of maths, English and the sciences. The education system here does baffle me somewhat in that she was trying to get into college to study drama and arts and things yet needed to get sufficient grades in the sciences and more academic fields in order to do that.
And she's not really one of those swotty kinds like Dinidu or The Auf, fellows who I can imagine never even needed to swot for an exam because they'd worked so hard during the course in the first place.
The parent teacher evenings I've been to for A in the last couple of years have mostly comprised of each teacher telling me very diplomatically how A is a great kid, full of life and always trying to be funny (can you imagine that??) but that she needs to concentrate more on the work to get the grade she should.
Strangely enough my reports at the same age were pretty similar.
My trepidation was because A never really seemed to knuckle down and work. Had there been an exam on Facebook or MSN or how to convert one sort of music file into an iTunes file I'm sure she'd have passed with flying colours. There wasn't, well apart from ICT, and I worried about the consequences, about A getting into college and that I might have to send her to work in a mine or sweeping chimneys in Dickensian times.
A was going to school yesterday morning and under strict instructions to call both her mother and myself. I was as anxious as could be, jittery and drunk with nerves and starting the most weirdly inane conversations with people as an excuse to just talk.
At about nine in the morning I called her to see what was happening, she sighed and told me that she was going to school in about forty five minutes. She promised to call me and I hung up, wondered what to do and decided to continue being nervous.
About an hour later I got a call.
"It's your daughter" said my person, you know, the one who put the call through.
"Hi A" I said.
She was crying, something all men are fundamentally afraid of, something that didn't bode well.
"You won't believe it Dad" she said and my heart broke a little bit.
"I got As and Bs. I've done really well, I've got the grades for college and everything" she said through the tears.
"Wow, seriously?" I asked, possibly not my most sensible of replies but it seemed to do the job. I was filled with a sense of relief and relaxation, like the Samurdhi officer who gets a call from his wife as he's going into the meeting to say that she lit the coils even though he forgot.
She read them all out again, I think for both of us to be sure.
I asked for the exact grades. She got two As, five Bs, two Cs and a couple of Ds. Then she said, still through the tears, that she had to go, to see what all her friends had got. I congratulated her and told her nice things.
I'm stunned, in the best possible way.
I'm so, so proud.
Just thought I'd tell you.