Last night we gathered with family to see our 2nd graders Spring concert at school. Extra evening activities are always frustrating because they require me to move our whole nightly routine up 3 hours. Not easy and fact is I don’t like to do it, but when I walk into that gym surrounded by other parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles my heart swells with pride. It swells for a lot of reasons, one we are able to send our school kids to an environment they love and learn at as well as the twinge of pride that my kids are a part of something they feel good about.
It dawned on me last night as I sat there all swelly and proud. I send 3 kids to school everyday with the hopes they will be enlightened and inspired by education. But when it comes to sitting down and talking about it, I avoid it. 7 years ago I went to one teacher conference and was told all the things my son could not do. My first child, at school, and he wasn’t succeeding according to his teacher. I was devastated, tears were shed. I was sure I failed as a mother. My husband reminded me that no one person can determine the strengths and weaknesses of our son. He reminded me of my own struggles through school as I sat there thinking wallowing in the thoughts of how everything will be difficult for him because I didn’t do what I should have to prepare him for kindergarden. Funny right?
Well here is a little secret about me. I have never returned. There have been countless teacher conferences since my other 3 joined the ranks of grade school and every time those time slots come home I pass them off to my husband and he attends for the both of us. The excuse is that we don’t have a sitter and in most cases that is the truth but deep down we both know. I can’t handle it. I well up in tears, take it personally and worry that what that teacher is saying defines what my kids can’t do in the future.
I do however go to evaluations for my homeschooling kids that are 100% about what I am doing and over time have grown accustom to knowing that some quarters are going to be good and some are not going to be good. My anxiety of what our evaluator will say is always heightened but I guess the conversation is always about, your child is here and we need to be here in 3 months. Rarely do we speak about what the child can not do because it is pointless and defeating in my book and lets be honest if the conversation turned to that I would probably throw my hands in the air, shove my kids back in school and agree that I failed once again. Right?
Neither system is perfect thats for sure but as I sat there welling with pride and giving the music teacher 100% credit for creating such a beautiful display of ability in that gym. I thought to myself, it is ok to take some for yourself. It is ok to walk away from these amazing performances with a silent “Good Job Mom and Dad” you work hard to keep your kids in a great environment and you have raised your child to proudly sing and dance their heart out on that stage. Look at the confidence you have helped instill in that little being. You know, all those things that we really take for granted.
I have received some beautiful responses from Moms for the Mothers Day giveaway (keep them coming by the way. I will announce winners on Sunday!) that you will hear more about soon, I promise, but one resounding thing that rang true in all their stories was the love they felt for their child. There is no love like a parents love and I felt that from them and from myself last night. I think I need to remember that filling my own cup up with the good stuff is ok and needed. For as many failures our kids will have in their lifetimes there are just as many successes and as a parent it is ok to feel both and be proud that we had a little bit to do with the foundation that contributed to that celebration.
So go out there and silently pat yourself on the back this weekend. Tell yourself even if it doesn’t look like this years grades are going to turn out the way you wished, that the smile your kids face because they just caught a baseball or they created you something by hand is a part of the foundation that YOU are a part of. Good job is what I want to say to myself and all of you!
TGIF friends! OX Katie