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I’ve worked with lots of different families over the years - some on a regular basis and some casual days when parents just need someone to come and hang out with their children. There’s one family that I had been working with for some time and their son was showing a real interest in gymnastics! His mum found out about a particularly sought after gymnastics class at a local gym… but it was REALLY competitive to get a place in the class. You had to register at 10am on a certain day and my sources told me some people got in line outside as early as 2am in the morning. So…I borrowed a camping chair, made a flask of coffee, packed bag of snacks and got down to the gym in the early hours. It was cold, wet and my chair wasn’t as comfortable as I’d hoped but the conversation with all the miserable dads was hilarious. We all bonded (and went on coffee runs) and as the sun came up, the doors slowly opened and we dragged ourselves in. Just as I was putting his name on the list, the boy called me from his mums phone (totally unconcerned how I was - as 7 year olds normally are) desperate to know if he’d got a place… I said ‘you’re first on the list’ and he shouted and celebrated down the phone! Later that afternoon, when I went to see him after school, he flew through the door and jumped on top of me and gave me a crushing hug (he genuinely likes spinach….) and said “Thank you thank you thank you!!!” A month later I took him to his first lesson where he jumped around and fell off things and landed on other kids but every five minutes he’d look up to the viewing gallery and give me a thumbs up. I had to leave so he would concentrate… but when a kid is just totally happy and you’re a part of that… it makes being a big buddy the best job in the world!

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