Saturday, 4 October 2014

Second child syndrome

Son, 11 and a half, is child number two.

He knows this because he has counted up the photos on display around the house and has pointed out many a time that we fall short as parents. There are more of Daughter, child number one, than there are of him. One day I mean to rectify this.

He made the transition to secondary school this year, and this reminded me that when Daughter started there two years ago, with the hopes and fears of a mother sending her firstborn into the unknown, I composed my own Irish blessing for a child starting secondary school.

I don't ever want to be accused by secondborn of making a public fanfare for Daughter but not for him, so I revisited it.

It still holds its own, but I have had to make a couple of changes, based on our experiences so far this term. I've been surprised that I could forget that the transition might be different for each child. They're both very happy at school with good groups of friends but one child needs far more help with organisation than the other. You can decide for yourselves whether it's the girl or the boy...

Good luck with your secondary school career, Son, and may your trousers turn up in lost property soon. And good luck to anybody else who's made a big transition this academic year (or anybody who is parenting someone who's made a big transition).

May your pencil case always be full.

May you write down what your homework is, do it on time, 
or at least come up with a plausible excuse when you don't.

May you steer clear of the smokers and dog poo in the alley on the way to school.

May you not lose your phone, your trousers, your sweatshirt or your PE kit.

May you not get bullied.

May you have good friends and be a good friend to others.

May you work hard and try your best even when it's not easy.

May you keep your smile and your sunny disposition.

May you do all that you need to do so that you can travel in the direction of your dreams.

May you be happy and healthy.

And may you always return to a warm home and people who love you at the end of the school day.


  1. My youngest daughter and nephew started secondary school this year too and your blessing is perfect for them too! Organisation is not a strong point for them anyway, but in addition they seem to have left their memory behind at primary school. Hopefully it will catch up with them soon! Thanks.

    1. So glad my Year 7 child iand me aren't the only ones struggling with all the things there are to remember...on the plus side he has taken his DT cooking ingredients into school two days early last week and the one before :-)

  2. I don't have a daughter, but from my experience, I will guess that it's your son that needs more help with organization. :)

    I really like your Irish blessing. Much of it good for anyone in no matter what stage they are in in life.

    1. Thanks! I guess you're right, steering clear of dog poo (and some of the other points) is always a good idea, whatever your age. ;-)

  3. Third Child Syndrome is even worse! Looking through photo albums of my mum's, I came across the pages for my sister, complete with birth announcement from the paper, and many photos of first born with various relatives. Then came the pages for my brother - no birth announcement, one page of photos. Then for me? Nothing. Nada. Rien de tout. The only explanation is that by my arrival da was taking more slides - but I don't know if that's true. It certainly rankles just a little bit!

    1. Oh dear! Being a first child, I've never suffered...