What Made Me Grateful Today


It was a big day today. My eldest’s first day at his new high school. A day we had been sweating on for a while now … sweating on all year really … on the entrance exam results, interview results and notice of acceptance into the school, sweating on the unknowns of the first day and the expectations of a student doing the IB program, at a school that achieved a 41% OP 1 equivalent rate last year! With 150 students per grade, that’s 61 OP 1’s!!! Enough to make a supporting mother’s heart tachycardic! He reckons he’s going to be able to handle it!

He’ll thrive on it.

I could not have been prouder, seeing my beautiful boy stand there amongst his new peers … kids who had all worked hard to get there, kids who desperately wanted to be there too, all striving to be the best they can be in everything they do. I stood back and watched him laughing, engaging, shaking the teachers hands … my heart bursting. That school camp before the year started was a damn brilliant idea. The words tumbled at school pick up. “Mum, they have a medical intern program at the Wesley Hospital in Year 12 and a trip to France for the French program. I have a great group of friends already. They’re all like me. I’m going to get an IB over 40. I am. It’s not all just about hard work and marks, it’s about becoming the best person you can be. I love it. I LOVE IT.” I secretly cried all the way home, listening to his recount. This is what parents dream of … happy, optimistic, focussed, balanced children. Look out world! I can’t believe I only found out about this school just the day before the open night last year. Sliding doors. So grateful. Thank you Renee! (hope you’re reading this!) … your Dad telling me about the open night just in time has seriously changed the course of my boy’s education!

Son is sitting doing some goal setting and reading through the school diary as I type this tonight. They were not assigned any homework tonight so he is reading the ‘Life Manual’ as he calls it. I have never seen a school diary like it … full of tips on studying, managing stress, relationships, communicating, holiday study planning, end of semester reflections, sections on ‘understanding myself’, compiling a bibliography, Harvard source referencing! … one topic for every day of the year. I almost feel a little jealous that he has access to such wonderful schooling!! I’d be a different person if I’d have learnt this way.

As for me, I revelled in the parent’s ‘do’ in the refectory, signed up for the P&C meet and met some gorgeous Mums. The strong community spirit, the team approach to schooling with parents-teachers-kids, was palpable in the introductory assembly, referring to ‘our graduation’ (the parents) in 3 years time, acknowledging the work we will put in to supporting and encouraging our children.

It all feels so amazingly right… and I am so grateful that my boy has such wonderful adventures and lessons ahead of him.

As for little tacker … pig in mud. Joyous. Enthusiastic. Back with his new friends. The most gorgeous teacher. I am breathing out tonight.

So grateful. So grateful to be on this journey with them.

A-M xx





This is where I muse about home design, interiors, life with my boys and other stuff that stops my heart. I own my own Real Estate agency, 'Cape Cod Residential', through which I stage, style and sell beautiful homes all over Brisbane, Australia.

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  • Maureen
    January 30, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Such a wonderful leap forward! Bravo to all of you for getting to this point and being brave enough to embrace the opportunity. Mx

    • A-M
      January 31, 2013 at 5:30 am

      It was a leap! Totally out of our comfort zone! xx

  • Parisgirl
    January 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    The lump in your throat that comes with such joy in your heart is a feeling all of its own. It has a name ‘mother’s pride’ what a time you are having A-M, making memories in Europe and now hopes and dreams coming together at the start of the school year. Congratulations and well done A-M.

    • A-M
      January 31, 2013 at 5:31 am

      One of the greatest joys in life I reckon. xx

  • Amanda
    January 30, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Oh A-M, I am bursting with happiness for you just reading this and reading how perfectly your boys’ first days went and how they’ve fallen so beautifully into wonderful social groups and school settings. I can imagine your joy tonight xx

    • A-M
      January 31, 2013 at 5:32 am

      You are a truly beautiful person Amanda. Thank you for your lovely comments. xx

  • KAR
    January 30, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    It is so funny to hear about your eldest, who I suspect is the same age as mine.

    My husband is a surgeon and has the privilege (or trauma) of deciding on who gets into surgical training (and staying there or not) and various other life altering decisions that affect young people’s dreams of medicine (that would never allow me to sleep again).

    Growing up in this environment has made our son run full speed away from having anything to do with medicine.

    Funny how different they all are – thank god!

    Congrats and Good Luck. Kx

    • A-M
      January 31, 2013 at 5:50 am

      Oh he doesn’t want a bar of surgery as his specialty!!!! He is thinking more along the lines of Paediatrics… or even something research based. He has such a caring gentle soul, an amazing heart that I learn from every day. The words of wisdom that come from his 15 year old mouth make me count my blessings every day that I was sent my beautiful children. I can’t imagine him not being in a caring profession. That said, he knows that as he journeys through his education, his goals might change and he is free to take whatever direction in life that calls him, whatever that may be. Medicine or not. He loves science, he is passionate about the human body, but he also wants to care and counsel in his life. He knows himself better than I know myself. Maybe he’s been here before? So sad that your son has been tainted by only your husband’s experience in the medical profession. There’s more to medicine than surgery. Endocrinology! I would have killed for the marks to have done Endocrinology or Immunology or Genetics, hence the reason I sought to work in their teams, when I was a Dietitian. The Geneticist I worked with, in Inborn Errors of Metabolism at the kids hospital, had the most fascinating and challenging career. He lived and breathed it! Taught it, researched it, practised it. So many choices! With a medical degree, the world of science is your oyster!… research, practice, teaching! My GP is still joyous about his career 30 years down his career path. He’s a carer too! Thanks for your comment. xx

      • KAR
        January 31, 2013 at 6:35 am

        Don’t get me wrong AM, I am very happy for your son and congrats, but I don’t think it is at all sad that my son has choosen a career outside of medicine (I personally think he has made a very wise choice). His strengths lay in other pursuits. I just think it’s funny how different kids at this age are.

        Yes, surgery is very tough. Not for the faint of heart. I always say it’s a course in bastardisation. Kx

  • Kate
    January 30, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    hi hun!
    well my 5yo had his first day at prep today! Beat that! Actually, yours probably went thru way more hurdles and issues to get to his school than my boy did to get into prep. My boy pretty much just had to turn up. lol


    • A-M
      January 31, 2013 at 5:33 am

      First day of prep is ENORMOUS! I bet there were tears, on both sides. I still remember everything about our Prep first days, like they were yesterday. Cherish it all. Time flies! xx

  • Julie B.[Holland]
    January 31, 2013 at 3:21 am

    Here’s to 2013 A-M! “Happy New Year”
    ( in more ways than one) xo
    Loved the post today!

    • A-M
      January 31, 2013 at 5:34 am

      Thanks Julie B! from Holland! Here’s to a truly happy year for us all. xx

  • Cate
    January 31, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I love that you love it..Cate Happy Days

  • Andrea Lauder
    January 31, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    What a difference a good school can make. Things have changed so much since I went through. Sit back and enjoy knowing that your sons are on a path to so much happiness and success (you’ve done well friend).

    🙂 Andrea

  • Jane Mayall
    January 31, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Absolutely fantastic!

  • B is building a house
    January 31, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Bless <3

  • sweetness
    January 31, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Lovely post.

  • Karyn
    February 1, 2013 at 9:19 am

    A-M now you have me in tears. I can ‘ feel’ how proud you are . The school sounds amazingly well balanced.
    Karyn x

  • Susan S
    February 2, 2013 at 6:29 am

    A-M, dear, I think you’re receiving back all the love, grace, enthusiasm, and exuberance that you have bestowed upon your progeny. Truly. Quick thought: perhaps a career in politics for such a caring soul who could make a difference to the masses!

    All the best!

  • Katherine theoldboathouse
    February 4, 2013 at 6:24 am

    My niece wants to get in there next year she’s year 9 this year I will have to pick your brain for tips xxx


About ‘A-M’

This is where I muse about home design, real estate, interiors and life with my boys. I am starting my next house build, 'The Next House That A-M Built', and hope to have some action on site in March, 2017. While I am building I will continue to run my Real Estate agency, 'Cape Cod Residential', through which I stage, style and sell beautiful homes all over Brisbane, Australia. I have an unrivalled staging inventory which enables me to present all manner of homes in their absolute best light for sale. It brings me such joy to be able to do Real Estate so differently and achieve great results for my clients. I am so grateful to be living such a creative and exciting life ... that I have created ... through blood, sweat, tears and physio appointments! A-M xx

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