So, after a less than edifying meeting with the Education Minister yesterday, I wrote him a letter….
Dear Education Minister,
Until yesterday, I viewed you with an element of compassion. It is in my nature. I felt for you, because I thought that as a man with a lot on his plate, you had to listen to advice from people with less than our whole interests at heart. I thought you had just chosen poorly, and that surely, if you were meeting with us, we could exchange some ideas, knowledge, and expertise.
Because you know, we have expertise and skills in spades. We are experts in our children, we are experts in child development, we have wicked serious skills in negotiation, articulation, organisation, seeing the wood as well as the trees, we have patience and we have compassion. A lot of it. We are experts in home education.
When you invite us into your office, cut our time short and do most of the talking, you insult us. I was disappointed, and deflated. But in the crusty dark before dawn, after an admittedly restless sleep filled with dreams of what could have been, I feel…determined.
Once again, I see time stretching before me, when my children get less of me than they deserve, than is their right, in my mind at least. And so, we try not to wear ourselves to nubbins as we adjust to your latest move on this giant chessboard of politics.
It’s tedious. It’s unnecessary, because yesterday I had an open heart and no agenda other than to connect with another human being.
I am social. I love interacting with other humans. We’re social creatures, and problems are best solved collectively. When one party steamrollers another, however, they surely cannot be surprised that when the other finally peels itself off the bumpy, grotty tarmac, they are scuffed, possibly a little broken, flat, disappointed in the preceding events and a little determined. We refuse to disintegrate like a little dust beneath the heel of the Government’s boot.
I know we are inconvenient. I know we are headache-inducing. I can imagine that we are a Problem that just needs to Go Away.
But we cannot just quietly go into the night. We cannot just abandon children, even if most of them are unknown to us, and not technically ours.
Here’s something we all need to remember. Children are ours, all of them. They are ours to care for and nurture and protect as a collective, even if we don’t know them. Because they’re our future, and we’re theirs.
And so today, amid the chaos of thirty-odd children playing together in the chilly autumn air, we will make plans. We will find a way to be heard. Because that is all we want. And because it’s what we all deserve.