My Sons Have Grown Up

My youngest son Dáire got his Leaving Certificate results last week and his CAO letter for a third level college placement on Monday. My visit last Wednesday with Cepta and our son to the Jes (Coláiste Iognáid) to collect his examinations letter ended a family involvement with Galway schools going back twenty two years.
So I am happy to report that this chapter in our lives ended on a high note: Dáire got the examination marks he needed in order to met the requirements for bio-medical science.

Cepta and myself count ourselves privileged and exceptionally lucky that Dáire and Shane have done us and themselves proud. Throughout their childhood they worked hard in their studies, were fortunate to have a few really good loyal friends, had some interesting hobbies, played their preferred sports, and maintained good morals along the way in the sense of never deliberately hurting friend, family member or others. As with all parents we have had our ups and downs in family life and suffered a few hard knocks on the journey. But nothing that most parents do not face. The two boys have their own independence of spirit with their own beliefs, politics and views that do not always correspond to that of mine(!). But this is as it should be- sons and daughters are not clones of their parents, and all of us are shaped by our own experiences.

The Photos
Photo 1 is of Dáire and Shane from August 2004- it was Dáire’s first day at primary school (Scoil San Phroinsias) and Shane’s first day in secondary school (St. Mary’s College).
Photo 2 was taken a few months ago of the family (including the lovely Cepta!) at Dáire’s graduation in May.
Finally, as a chapter in my own life closes, I have to take this opportunity to give a sincere thanks and appreciation to all those teachers in Scoil San Phroinsias, St. Mary’s College and the Jes who did so much for the boys. In all my years involved in school life going back to the age of five (and I myself qualified as a second level teacher) I have only rarely encountered a really bad teacher. They do indeed exist-a few taught me (& Cepta, Shane and Daire). But the vast majority of teachers represent the unsung heroes of Ireland. In order to do their job well, they have to take on so many diverse roles as they nurture generations of children into adulthood, serving as educationalists, sports coaches, musical instructors, career guidance officers, psychologists, social workers….
So a big ‘bualadh bos’ to the ‘múinteorí’!!

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