Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Jan. 2007 - He's not Me

I never wanted to be one of "those" moms. Working in the public school system, I saw the mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. You had your parents who only had children because their birth control didn't work and they unwillingly accepted the consequences. Then you also had your parents that would happily have chained their ankle to their prized offspring's desk if it would have been allowed. Their entire life centered around their child's success and of course - their child NEVER misbehaved and NEVER forgot to dot that /i/. You know "those" parents. Then you had the gems of parenting who were able to find that balance between concern and intrusiveness. Such a parent I aspired to be.

A couple years back as my child happily made his way through preschool, I made the comment that I would never be one of "those" moms. That I believed in the public school system's ability to make its own decisions. I would never be one of "those" moms who requests certain teachers for my child, or demands a switch when I am dissatisfied. You make lemonade when you are given lemons little Johnny! I had images of my little prodigy going off to school, returning to quietly do his homework, and then having me sign off on his straight-A efforts.

Now, two years into our much too long educational adventure, I am trying to get up the nerve to be one of "those" moms. The kind that principals cringe when they see a message from. The kind that teachers roll their eyes about over their morning coffee. Why exactly? Because I love my child more than my own ego. My little prodigy has instead turned into a very average and yet very imaginative little one. And while he has an intellect hidden within his blond-haired little brain, he chooses to think about puppies when the subject is prepositions. And while my little unfocused one spends his days daydreaming, I am left to wonder "when do you draw the line? how hard do you push?" For while I never wanted to play the blame-the-teacher game, all teachers are not the creme of the crop. While I have always said that my children must learn their own lessons, I also have to remember that he is still young. And it is my job to protect him and keep his education on the right, albeit average, track. It is my job to try to keep him from becoming one of "those" children that teachers again roll their eyes about.

The hardest thing to come to terms with is... my children are not me. They don't look like me, that's for sure. They don't even act like me. And while I may have my own dreams for them - so what if they don't get into the best colleges? So what if they don't get a wrestling scholarship (say it ain't so!) My children are perfect - made by God in His image. I can only pray that my children don't make the same mistakes that I did. That they learn from the mistakes they do make. And most of all, that they stay on the path that God created them to take and be who He created them to be - Just Perfect.

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