You know, as a parent, we always wonder if we are doing the right thing. Did we do the right thing? Are we doing right by our children? Will we be sending children into the world that are independent, caring, happy and confident? People with empathy, respect for others. People who can grow but not outgrow who and where they came from. Just generally speaking, good people.
I must have done something right. I got this message from Quintus’ boss:
“Melany, ek moet net vir jou sê, jy het ‘n baie oulike seun groot gemaak. So vriendelik, hulpvaardig en hardwerken. Hy het ‘n “bright future”!!!! Valerie dink ook die wêreld van hom!”
Translated: Melany, I must just tell you raised a very good son. So friendly, helpful and hardworking. He has a bright future!!! Valerie (his boss’s wife) also thinks the world of him.
Thank you, Quintus. Thank you for being a great son. Thank you for growing up to be an awesome young man. Thank you for making me feel like an okay Mom.
I’m so very proud of you.
Not many people can say that got their license the first time…twice.
Well, since we do like doing things differently Quintus can now say he got his license twice, the first time.
See he went for his driver’s license on Thursday last week. He did absolutely everything right. More than enough points to go on both his road and yard test. Then right before he finished his road test the instructor asked him to cross lanes at an intersection. Look, we all know they try to catch you but this was blatantly wrong and I’ll explain why. While crossing lanes at an intersection is an @sshole thing to do in my opinion, it is not breaking a traffic law. That is why if you look on the form they instructors fill in, it is a 3 point penalty. Not breaking a traffic law. If he got the 3 point penalty he would STILL have passed with flying colours.
See, he was the only one there that day. Literally the only person in the office building with the instructor. And then me when I walked in after the test. He added up all the points, did not write that he failed. He even started drawing him a picture as to what he did wrong!? Still didn’t write on the test that he failed. He looked at me, I didn’t say anything and then he failed him.
Only later did I think of the fact that the only reason he failed him was because he wanted us to “ask him if he is hungry”. I’ve just never done that before. I don’t bribe people.
He continued to tell Quintus that his driving is really good and that he would definitely get his license on Monday.
I spoke to the lady who did Quintus’ driving lessons (best person to go to BTW) and she was livid. She was actually the one to point out to me that he could not fail on that!!! That he had passed!!! I was SO upset. I wanted to go back and give him a piece of my mind but what would it help? They would just make sure to fail him the next time he went.
So he went again yesterday. I was SO stressed. What if he failed this time? I mean failed because he did something wrong. Well, he didn’t. He got his license. Since it was a
illegal unnecessary fail the first time around, this was him getting his license for the first time this time.
SO proud. The whole family so happy for him. A happy time. Until he wanted to actually GET his license paper. It took 2,5 hours! First a forever wait in line to get his fingerprints done.
Then after waiting in line to pay, they said he needed more photos. So he had to leave the line and go get a photo taken. He had to fall in the line again at the back! Get to the front and the lady tells him that he didn’t pass. The computer said he didn’t pass! He had to go to the other department again and speak to the instructor so that she could fix it.
Back again and he had to stand at the back of the line AGAIN. Gets to the front and the instructor had taken out some of his papers, so he didn’t have everything he needed to pay! He had to leave the line AGAIN and go back to the instructor. The lady then continued to tell him that he won’t be allowed back into the building until after lunch. So he would have to wait another 40 minutes.
Some swear words later, he got the missing papers and just opened the door and walked right back in and to the back of said line AGAIN.
This time he came out with a somewhat grin on his face and his license in his hands! FINALLY a licensed driver.
It was a long weekend…. where he just wanted to drive and I felt that he could because he actually HAD his license but he didn’t have it, so no he could not drive. Now that he does, I haven’t seen much of him 🙂 As it should be.
Congratulations Quintus. Please always be safe. I need you here with me. Remember you have the lives of others in your hands.
Remember when you first have your baby and you don’t sleep at night? You tend to think that’s the worst part of being a parent. The no sleep.
Then it’s their 2nd birthday and it’s almost as if tantrums were in one of the gift boxes.
Then at three where they believe they can do everything themselves and heaven forbid if they want to wear a unicorn outfit with elephant shoes and they can’t find something like that.
Then school, first exams, first love … and heartbreak.
It doesn’t compare.
Giving your child their first car. That’s tough. Yes, I know there will be other things even more scary but this is his life. The lives of his friends, in a car.
I hope you understand how much I love you and how much I need you here with me.
Congratulations on your first car, Quintus.
Please be safe.
I love you.
I remember his very first rugby match. Passionate from the very start. I remember one little player of the opposing team running through all the players on the field. It was Quintus’s turn to sit next to the side-line. He looked on, shouted and when that player came past him, he ran onto the field and tackled him. He couldn’t just stand by and watch. That feels like yesterday.
Then I blinked and he played his very last hockey match. With the same passion and love for sport as when he started as a little boy.
I’m going to miss watching him play. I’m going to miss seeing him do what he loves. I’m going to miss the passion.
Don’t blink. It’s all it takes for them to grow up.
Quintus has been in a choir since he was 9 years old. That is 7 years now. A very long time and a big part of his life.
It is a huge commitment. He LOVES rugby and hockey but that always has to take second place to choir. There is almost never a Friday that he can go to a party or school activity. Long weekends …. what is that again?
After much talk and consideration and weighing good and bad, he decided that he is not going to continue this year.
I was torn myself. Choir is extremely expensive and time-consuming for me as well. I take him every Friday and wait for him for 5 hours. Yet, I love hearing him sing. I love seeing him do what he loves and what he is good at.
Still, it was his decision and I would respect it either way.
We sent a message to his choir organizer (choir mom) and oh wow….she did not take it well. I think she was pretty upset with us and took some time to find the right words before she phoned. She asked us so nicely to please reconsider. She complimented Quintus on being such an outstanding boy with amazing qualities and strong morals. She couldn’t let him go. Neither did the conductor want Quintus to go. He was going to phone Quintus as well (Quintus asked Starr to please not let him)
Quintus will now be going to the choir camp on Friday and make his final decision there. Again, I will respect his decision.
I do think it is such an honour to be asked not leave by both Starr and the conductor. Would have been easy to just let him go.
Quintus is your typical Ouboet. He will stand up for his brothers, protect them and give them advice. He will be their biggest supporter.
Zander is lucky enough to have two older brothers. Both of them love the little guy a lot and probably do more for him than most brothers will.
This is about Quintus though. I looked at him yesterday as he stood with Zander at the pool, waiting for his turn to swim. Zander’s first gala. He stood there and spoke to him so nicely. Giving him the kind of moral support that many fathers lack.
When Zander swam freestyle he got tired at the end. (probably because he was late for the race and didn’t have time to catch his breath) However when he looked up and saw Quintus, it was as if he got extra strength. Just that little more energy that he needed.
I am hugely thankful for the love my children have for each other.
Remember my previous blog post? About Quintus getting concussion on the rugby field?
Well, I hang my head in shame. He fractured his C7 vertebrae. And I DID NOT TAKE HIM TO GET X-Rays.
Tommie did phone our doctor friend (who specializes in sport injuries) He listened to what happened and said he definitely has concussion but that it is really not necessary to take him for x-rays. I did ask Quintus more than once if he had any pain in his neck or back and he said no. No tingling in his feet or hands. Nothing.
Then Friday I realized he was walking with his one shoulder drooping a bit. He started complaining of back-ache. I made an appointment at a physio but thought that maybe I should just take him to the doctor first. Well x-rays done and he has a fracture.
Bring on the “I am a horrible mother” guilt. 🙈
No rugby this year (and hopefully ever). Hockey only in 4 weeks.
Flip. This could have been way way way worse.
Rugby is our culture.
Not just part of our country’s culture but also that of our home.
We love our rugby. Love to watch it. From school rugby to varsity to international. We love rugby.
Quintus and Zander love to play it.
We love to watch them.
We have been semi lucky as far as injuries go. Only a torn ligament in Quintus’ knee (that’s been giving him problems since he got hurt in an u/9 game) A broken elbow (or rather a piece of his elbow bone that broke off) two years ago but he kept on playing with it.
Now on Saturday concussion. The other two did not bother me so much. Although I felt bad for him, I knew it would heal and he would be fine.
I know that the concussion will also heal and he will be fine but seeing him like I did on Saturday was scary. Not knowing how serious it is, is scary. I (thankfully) did not see him fall on his head and neck like that during the game. Only after we downloaded the photos.
His feet were higher than the other players head. He was airborne before he made his way down. That’s a huge fall on extremely hard field. (The water shortage has been bad for most of the rugby fields!)
He was disoriented and can’t remember the rest of the game. He came off the field in, what I thought was a rude and upset mood, however looking back he didn’t answer most of us because he wasn’t totally sure what was going on. He was nauseous. Saw black spots for a long time that morning. Only really starting to feel better at around 17:00 that afternoon. He fell at around 12:00.
Scary stuff. He went to school this morning but I got a call to pick him up at around 8:30. His head just hurts too much.
Nothing he can do but rest.
If I look at the photo I realize that it could have been much worse. It’s a risk they take every time they go onto the field to play.
We also take risks throughout the day. Every day. Be it getting into a car or climbing on your bicycle to cycle. We can’t put them in bubble wrap.
I’m glad he is “okay” though.
Rugby is not for sissies. Not great on a mom’s heart either.
At Jason’s grade 7 prizegiving the school played a song that spoke to me so deeply. A song by a little girl who wasn’t invited to a school prizegiving. A letter she wrote to her granny, asking if she will ever be good enough to be invited.
I am thankful beyond words that our school is different. That every child really does count. It still brought tears to my eyes.
If it were a different school, one of my kids wouldn’t be invited. Not if it depended on academics. Even at his own prizegiving I looked at his little face, so proud of the achievements he received for sport (mostly for his rugby team’s achievements) but no mention of academics.
Then I got the school reports and you know what? I’m so proud. Proud of every single one of my kids.
Right from the one that decided not to study at all and still … uhm… did WAY above expectation, to the one who worked hard at maths and accounting the last term and increased with a percentage of 20 % and 40 % respectively. Also the one who has to worked harder than most and it showed. He improved in every single subject. Our girl child is also did well and got an award for academics.
Proud. Yes, beyond proud.
Was a good year. I learned probably more than all of them combined.
Life lessons, that is what I learned.
So ends the first school term. Another extremely short holiday (all holidays are too short!)
Things that stood out this term:
- Zander has a great rugby coach. I’m so happy for my little boy that he is in the A team. That is is playing full back like he wanted to. Rugby is his air. I’m glad he gets to breath it.
- Zander is in the school choir. Zander = choir. Never thought I would say those words in one sentence.
- Zander has an awesome teacher. She is amazing. Patient. Caring. She takes the time to understand him. I’m so thankful that he is in the same class that his brothers were in Grade 3 as well.
- Jason did extremely well academically. He is a very clever guy but probably did the best ever this term. Will have to wait for the report to see but his test results were great. I’m very proud of how motivated he is.
- Jason loves his tennis. I am sure he can’t wait for the next term so that school tennis matches can begin. They are playing league games and hopefully they will do well.
- I’m thankful that being a school prefect never went to his head. He is just another guy at school wearing a white shirt. However, I must say that he has taken his duties seriously. Every prefect has a specific class where they help out until the teacher comes. He is at that class even if we are
almostlate and it is only for a couple of minutes. The sweet thing is that he is Zander’s class prefect.
- Quintus made the junior A team in hockey. He is doing SO well. After watching him play rugby for all those years, I thought it would feel almost wrong to watch the hockey but wow. He has the same passion when he plays hockey. Also no fear. A good thing when you are playing back, but still. Scary to watch him defend like that.
- He is loving the NW youth choir. The friendships are for life. There is that “inner circle” feeling that you only ever get from choirs. He is also pretty good at that, since he was asked to sing a solo part in a song. He declined though. I think being one of the young guys in the choir had a influence on his decision.
We will be enjoying this short holiday, since the second term is always hectic with sport and exams.
We have finally made the decision to get Vlekkie a new friend again. It’s not fair for him not to have another dog out back. My heart breaks when I see him sad and I know he is. I know he misses Choppies. We have tried to let the others play out back with him but he wants nothing of it.
So we decided to get a puppy (obviously from the SPCA) or at as young a dog as we can.
I walked through those cages, constantly saying “I hate people” I obviously don’t hate all people but flip man. How can people be so cruel? There was one little Yorkie x, that was trying to climb through the cage to be with us. She climbed up the fence and pushed as many legs and her nose through, just to have some human touch. It broke my heart. My sons walked with tears in their eyes.
We decided on a little puppy. They still have to do a home check so we couldn’t bring her home. While filling in the adoption papers though, a couple arrived with a box of kittens. All about how sad they are about having to give them away. They love them so blah blah blah
Quintus turned around, looked them square in the eyes and said: “I hope your cat is spayed now”
I was so proud. The lady from the SPCA had a smile on her face while looking down. The couple didn’t know what to say.
North West colours two years in a row.
That, my son, takes some doing.
It is NOT easy giving up every.single.Friday. when your friends all have sleep-overs or parties and you are at choir.
It is NOT easy when all your friends don’t understand that you can both love music and sport.
It is NOT easy when you are sick or tired or studying and you still have to at choir rehearsal.
It is NOT easy when it is late and you have an early rugby match the next morning and you only get home at 9 or 10 pm, after standing for 3 hours straight.
It is great to have made the friends you did though.
It is great that you met your girlfriend there.
It is great that you could enjoy your love for singing there.
It is great that you could share the passion for both music and sport with other choir friends who has the same passion.
I am so proud of you for doing this. You have no idea. You have learned life lessons during these two years that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
You make me proud and humble to be able to say you are my son.
I will miss the choir just as much as you will.
There will be days where I feel upset with the school, I have no doubt but I do love the school. More than when I was there btw. Never liked High School.
I love the SMS updates we get. When they get positive or negative points we receive an SMS and the reason why.
Teachers are more than willing to give extra help during or after school.
What stands out to me though, is that they embrace culture. They acknowledge the hard work put into cultural activities.
It is not like sport, where you have more fun and more support. Parents tend to support sport activities more as well.
Children deserve to be rewarded for all the hours and hard work.
So thank you Wesvalia for doing just that.
Quintus turned 14 yesterday. FOURTEEN! Wasn’t he just a little redhead boy, too scared to go to Grade R?
When they say time flies, boet, they mean time flies. I have always said that I treasure every moment with my kids and I do. Still, somehow, time slips through your fingers.
I clearly remember the day he was born. How I resigned that same day because the people from work wouldn’t stop calling me.
I remember his first birthday. Him and his cousin having cake together, yet he hardly got his face dirty.
His second birthday ended with him being admitted in hospital with the rota virus. We spent the next week there.
So I can go on, with every birthday feeling like just last week.
I sat there yesterday as he had breakfast with his friends and it hit me that in just four years time he will be 18. He will a couple of months away from going to ‘varsity. Four years. That is nothing.
Happy birthday Quintus.
I hope you take time to capture memories. Even if you don’t have your camera with you. Capture it in your mind. Live the moment.
I love you endlessly. I am proud to call you my son.
You care so deeply and you aren’t scared to show that. You are protective of your brothers even though some days they work on your nerves.
You are the best teenager I know. You are balanced, with loving your rugby, doing well at school and your passion for music.
Some days I look at you and wonder why I couldn’t have been that self-confident as a teenager.
You amaze me.
Thank you for the hugs, kisses and coffee when I don’t expect it. Thank you for telling me you miss me.
Soos die son
Quintus loves rugby.
When he watches or plays the game, he gets emotionally involved. It is not just another 80 minutes. Isn’t just about going on the field and putting his body on the line.
This is why playing in the back line was so hard on him. He couldn’t achieve anything there. He looked like a bad player. He felt he could make no contribution.
for the week (since they have had a new “coach” every week) moved him to flank. Much better. Not the ideal position but much better.
He played very well again yesterday….
broken arm and all
About three weeks ago, Quintus played rugby in Krugersdorp. It was a tough game. As always he put his heart and soul into it even
though he was playing completely the wrong position and they had no chance of winning.
They lost. Badly.
After the game he complained that his right arm was sore. I checked it out, didn’t see anything out of place or red or anything. I gave him some pain meds. He would mention it every now and again for a couple of days after that. I asked him how sore it was and he said not sore enough to have x-rays done.
Then this weekend he played rugby with his brothers and friends and fell against the wall. Same arm. Same place.
On Sunday morning it was sore enough for him to ask me to take him to the ER. So off we went. They took x-rays and the doctor on call was more worried about showing some nurses that his elbow was not broken when he compared the two. He didn’t take the time to actually look at it.
Monday morning I dropped the x-rays off at our doctor and asked the lady at reception to give it to him. If he didn’t see anything broken, he didn’t have to phone me back.
Well, Monday no phone call, so I assumed the hospital doctor was right.
Last night though, our doctor phoned. He only had a chance to look at them yesterday. He asked what happened and then said there is definitely a fracture but that it happened +/- three weeks ago already OOOOOPPPSS
He says that putting his arm in a cast now, will be pointless since it has already started healing on its own. He is worried about the piece breaking off though and then going into the joint. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
For now we will bandage it for his game on Saturday (he wants to hear nothing about not playing)
Oh parenting can be so difficult some times. Maybe not difficult but the balance between giving all your kids the correct advice / support / praise / comfort. That is what is difficult.
Especially when on one day, your one child needs a lot of support and the other deserves praise.
Anyone who knows Quintus, knows how much he loves rugby. He is passionate about the sport. Unfortunately this year he was chosen for the B team but he is okay with that. As long as he can play, right? Well, my very much a hooker boy … built and used to that position was chosen to play as centre. If you know rugby at all, you will know that it makes no sense. However, when I watched the team on Saturday I could see why. They don’t have back-line players. One … maybe two. The one little guy is seriously smaller than Zander. The other player prefers to play chess (more power to him but he is not into rugby) Some have never played before. To tell you the truth they sounds like the C team in the Spud books lol
There are some great players though. I feel for them. I feel for the others two. They try their best but with the kids they have, it is mostly not good enough. Quintus was so down when he came off the field. He felt that he hadn’t played well enough. Yet he gave it his all. He put in big tackles. He caught some balls from bad passes that I didn’t know he could. I showed him the photos and only then did he realize he did give it his all. Maybe he can’t run fast enough to catch opposition wings or centres but he tries. He does his best. I did my best to explain that regardless of the score he played well. As always I’m very proud.
Then on the other hand, we had Zander who probably played his best game ever. My word. I was amazed. He tackled non stop. He ran from one side of the field to catch a player on the other with speed I didn’t know he had. He tackled some seriously big boys who are probably used to just going right through the other players.
Remember these kids are a year older than him!
He ran with that ball almost the length of the field. He so almost scored a try.
He was MY man of the match. They are even moving him from full back to fly half for the next game. He listens to his coach. He talks to the backline. He is just so cute on that field. He definitely has some rugby blood in those veins.
I hope he will do as well as fly half as he did as full back. He has no clue what to do in that position so we will have to see.
I’m so proud of my boys …. even Jay who decided to stop playing rugby and just concentrate on his tennis.
Win or lose, they make me proud.
On Thursday night Wesvalia had their Sole (Grade 8) Concert. This is when the grade 8 kids are finally seen as a true Wessie and not just a Sool. They are then allowed to wear their school blazers.
Quintus had three roles to play.
First he was in the opening seen
Then he was a lunch box thieve
His last scene was a dance scene. Funny costume and moves.
It was really well done and super funny, with the teachers and headmaster acting as well.
Once the headmaster spoke to the kids, they were allowed to put on their blazers and the headgirl and -boy rang the bell to welcome them as official pupils. That specific bells is there for matrices to ring on their last day of school. A final goodbye.
I hope that he will mostly have good and happy memories by the time he rings that bell.
He seems to be loving High school. I can’t believe how much he has grown in the past 3 weeks.
I know everyone said that this would happen. That within a blink of the eye, they would grow up. That I should savor every moment.
And I did. I still do. Every second of every day.
Yet, within what seemed like months, my grade R and then Grade 1 little boy turned into the young man he is now.
Today he finished his primary school years.
8 years gone by just like that.
“Quintus, in these 8 years you have done nothing but make me proud.
From that little boy who made sure everyone had tuck money, to the one giving away his market day purchase to a younger boy when it was sold out.
From the little boy who ran onto the rugby field in Grade R to tackle a boy his friends missed, to the 1st team rugby player who stood back for no-one.
From the little boy who sang in the school choir, to the one now a member of the North West Children’s choir.
You have grown into such a special, awesome boy.
I hope your high school years will be brilliant. These are the years you will really remember as an adult. You make amazing memories in High School. I hope that all your memories will be good.
I love you.
I am proud of you always.
2013 has not been a good year for Quintus in some ways but it has also been a great year in many ways.
His academics exceeded my expectations.
He was included in the school’s first rugby team.
I got his North West colours for the choir.
He was awarded the Culture Boy of the Year award.
Yes, the culture boy of the year.
One of only 6 prestige awards given every year.
Let’s back track to last Wednesday night. The school had a very special award ceremony for the Grade 7s and their parents. Tables, snacks, cold drinks. Very smart.
The kids got called up according per class in alphabetical order to receive their certificates. I love his teacher. I couldn’t wait to see him on that stage receiving that certificate for the last time. However they skipped him! Jip…right from D to G but no de Bruyn. At first I didn’t realize it. Tommie did though and pointed out that poor Quintus was standing at the door unsure of what was happening. Tommie was so upset that he even left the hall!
I assumed that his certificate was just put with the wrong class but no… No certificate for him. I even joked that he was sticking around another year!
They then said that they were finished with the awards but would continue with the prestige awards. At that stage I still thought they forgot about my Quintus !
They called up the Sport Girl of the year, Sport Boy, Culture Girl and Culture Boy of the Year, Quintus de Bruyn!
I could not control the tears. I was so very happy for him, so so happy. I just couldn’t believe it. My son.
I looked at him standing between the other kids who all received prestige awards and he was the only one without a white shirt. The only one, not a prefect. That had hurt him so much. I could not then and still cannot now, understand why he wasn’t chosen. I think as he stood there, one of the top students of the school, they must have realized their mistake.
Standing there though, he must have felt appreciated and finally a part of that special group of kids…all his friends.
His photo might not be on the wall with all the prefects however his name will forever be on the honour roll, for all to read in the hall.
I am so mightily proud of you Quintus.
You are more amazing than you even know. There are big things waiting for you out there.
I will walk with you every step of the way but more importantly, so will God. Your God that you have chosen to follow.
I love you.
It is so easy to complain but complaining to the wrong people. If you have a problem, then take it up with the people involved and if you are in a great school like my kids, things will happen. Or at least you will get a reason as to why things happened the way it did.
Thank you to our school who took my email to heart . Who discussed it with the involved parties and for doing the right thing.
Thank you for giving the first rugby team their jerseys. It has made me immensely proud of our school. Our children will carry the tradition of La Hoff into High School next year.
They worked hard for these jerseys. They have played 5 years of rugby with that reward in mind.