Daughter Two had that look about her. The one that says those over the age of 15 have no idea how the world works.
Her big day had arrived. The presentation of School Leadership badges. And as such, dress code would be hotly contested.
A crazy suggestion had been made, that she might want to wear her school dress to mark the occasion. It was like someone had told her to turn up in the local garbo’s uniform.
The Dress, she informed us, was not needed. As the new House Captain, she reckoned she had a duty to attend in the official sports uniform of blue shirt and tight shorts. And anyway, none of her friends would even THINK of frocking up.
It appears that The Dress became uncool sometime last year. The sporty look had become the preferred option. With approval from teachers, apparently.
It was explained to her that while such attire was fine for strutting around the oval with the boys at lunchtime, it didn’t quite do when one was receiving her badge from the a bored local politician.
There is family history in these badge ceremonies. The Teenager picked up the same title in her final year of primary school. Funny, but I don’t remember her wanting to ditch The Dress.
My nieces and nephews have captained everything bar the Queen Mary. And the boys would have a crack at that too if they were allowed on the bridge.
Going back a few centuries, my peers voted me in as school captain. Several probably still wake in a cold sweat at the thought of passing such responsibility my way.
I would never tell the girls, but I found the leadership role a great way to get out of schoolwork. The perfect excuse. There was always something to do outside of the classroom. Usually involving sport.
One teacher was a wake up to me. She would have none of my ‘The Touch Footy team needs me NOW’ plea. This woman had the nerve to make me do entire lessons, which was unheard of in other departments. Annoys me to this very day.
Anyway, Daughter Two finally agreed to wear The Dress. For one day only. Which was just as well. Because all her friends did exactly the same. No shorts to be seen.
The kids all clapped her, and the other young leaders. The family was out in force, proud as punch. There’s something about seeing a loved one on stage, being rewarded for effort, and potential.
My daughter would never admit it, of course, but she got a kick out of the whole thing. That shy smile gave the game away. I promise I won’t tell her buddies.
When the grandkids check out my photos in years to come, they’ll see their mum as a Year Seven girl, taking great strides in becoming a young lady.
They’ll spot the badge. And the dress. She’ll thank us for that one day.