Tonight I will act normal. As I help out at the school PTA's Welcome Evening for new parents not one of those parents will have any inkling of what I and my son have been through over the past 26 months. I will chat happily with parents, answering questions like "What year is your son in? Has he enjoyed his 7 years at the school?" just like a normal person. To them, I will just be a normal parent, a normal member of the school PTA, no different from anyone else.
And I will graciously accept the gift of flowers from the Chairman of the School PTA in recognition of my support now that I've decided "the time has come to resign" from the committee.
Everyone will applaud, assuming I'm leaving because "A level year is such a busy year, you know, what with all those university open days and applications, revision and so on". It's only right that Mrs Batty focus on getting her son through his A-levels and into university. Good Old Mrs Batty, what would we have done without her? She does the Christmas Fair, website and everything, you know.
Yet none of these new parents will realise what else I was up against while I was battling to organise "the Christmas Fair, website and everything" over the last couple of years... Like the day before the 2009 Christmas Fair, for example.
That morning I'd been urgently called into school by the medical staff because Ben had gone completely off the rails. And I spent the rest of the morning sitting in Sainsbury's car park in floods of tears, ringing round the Committee trying to get someone else to take the Fair off my hands. That afternoon I was like a ghost or a robot as I helped set up the Fair. And that evening I was in pieces. (So was Ben...)
And that's just one example...
When I handed in my resignation earlier in the summer, the Chairman said she was surprised I hadn't resigned sooner.
But tonight no-one except a small select few will know the real reason for my resignation. And no-one but a small select few will understand the concerned looks I get from staff 'in the know' as they ask me "how are things coming along?"