We’re well into our second year in France now. This is it. For real. Complete with all the challenges of normal life. Among them, concerns that Tana might not be progressing as well as he should at school. Last year he was with children younger than him so could do most of the work with them. Now he has leap-frogged up into another school and is one of the youngest.

But after meetings with the teachers and Tana, we are reassured that he is doing just fine and “N’oubliez pas, Mme Coulson, Tana est presque bilingue”. Now if that isn’t progress I don’t know what is.

Tana's first try

Having high expectations is good and I believe it has helped in my pursuit of happiness. It certainly helps Tana when he plays sport as he has a real determination to excel.

But it’s a delicate balance. In Tana’s first rugby tournament last weekend, he didn’t fully understand the rules and when he was subbed for another player he became despondent and sulky.

Cue a pep talk from daddy about how he needs to really show he wants that place – high-fiving the other player as he comes off and standing by the coach pestering him to go back on. His next touch of the ball – a try.

Now staying with my mum in England and wondering what makes her such a joy to be around? Well, she doesn’t grumble or moan. She just gets on, whether the job is making dinner or clearing out the gutters. Even though she doesn’t like cooking. (Clearing out the gutters she loves, but that’s just mum).

A little picture on her wall (something her father always used to say) reads:

Life ain’t a matter of holding good cards, but playing a poor hand well.

We could all do with trying to please our coach more. Stop moaning about your cards and get stuck in.

Filed under: Happy Coulson

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