Cambridge is the perfect place to feel stupid. It’s full of super bright, super educated people. People steeped in academia either applied to a practical role or for its own sake. So when the schools say to parents locally, ‘Do come in and share your skills with the children’, there’s never any shortage of willing volunteers. Parents can showcase their know-how in all manner of areas from arctic research to ocean exploration, which is amazing and enriching.
But the question does leave me at a bit of a loss. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but I’m not sure what insights I can impart to help shape these impressionable young minds. The husband is a consultant so nothing doing there either, and really, unless the future generations of Histon and Impington are interested in learning how to belt out Total Eclipse of the Heart, while simultaneously stirring a bolognaise sauce and separating squabbling siblings, I’m unclear what I do actually bring to the table (apart from spaghetti bolognaise that is).
Looking at my credentials: I can parent three children (mouths are fed, people get where they need to be); I keep the home ticking over (sometimes tidy, never completely clean); I can smash the music round of any pub quiz; I’m an expert in tackling 101 jobs that need doing between 9am and 3pm, none of them visible to the naked eye; and I have just about earned a degree in cardigan-pocket tissue removal. Sadly these are not things the average six-year old aspires to…
But not all skills and experiences are tangible or likely to appear on a CV. There are joys, satisfactions, goals, achievements, lessons learnt, highs, lows, discoveries, laughs and above all plenty of things to celebrate in what I do … but I haven’t yet found a way to package that for a primary school audience. I’ll let you know when I’ve cracked it.