Thursday, March 10, 2011

Swelling With Pride

Last Friday report cards were sent home. I personally couldn't wait for Sj to hand it over so I could see how she is progressing. Having been an elementary school teacher I understand the necessity of report cards, but also take into consideration that it isn't the whole picture of how Sj is doing in second grade, it's one measure. Beyond reading through all the sections of the report card (3 printed pages), it's three years later and I am still trying to wrap my brain around the grading system. Or lack of grades. There are numbers coupled with either a check, plus, or minus for smaller bullet points. Gone are the A's, B's, C's, D's, and F's.

Most appropriately to top off report cards, tonight we had parent teacher conferences. It feels as if it's all coming at us at once! While it's hard to anticipate what exactly is going to come up in a private conference, I pretty much didn't expect anything surprising to come out. I, being her mother, would consider her to be doing exceptionally well. I can tell you, I was not doing long division at 7 years old, it still blows my mind that she is. She's reading above grade level and her teacher stopped testing her at a certain point, so we don't know exactly how far beyond a third grade level. Overall her strengths are well rounded, which pleases me to no end. What also delights me is that she is in a multi-age classroom. If she is working beyond grade level that's no problem, she just keeps progressing at a pace that suits her. In the past few months she has academically blossomed (more focus for longer periods is a huge factor), so her ability to just keep learning and not be held back by the generic whole class mentality is amazing!

Beyond the report cards and conferences, there's this...

I'm not quite sure the best way to share how I'm feeling, but lately I've been swelling with pride from the inside out as a mother. This has nothing to do with grades or school progress, these moments are all simply in the comfort of our home in a small moment or series of moments. My girls are growing up so quickly and although I dread the thought of them no longer being my babies, I am constantly amazed by their curiosity, kindness, their love of one another, and the happiness that they bring to my life.

Just this past week, GL on her own has been making me breakfast every morning. By making me breakfast I mean, moving her stool to get out the box of cereal, moving it again to reach the milk, then a bowl, gathering a spoon, putting it all on the table, taking the lid off the milk and pouring it in the bowl, putting it on a tray and bringing it to me. One morning she cut a bagel in 1/2 with a butter knife and filled a ramekin with yogurt (from a quart container) and served that to me. Seriously, how does your heart not multiple a million times over when your child is so amazingly kind and caring? I know she's just trying to assert her independence, but my goodness gracious, her actions are precious.

Sj has always shared her softer side with us, she has a big heart which also brings with it sensitivity. I adore how she still snuggles in bed with me every morning before we start the day, she carries in her oldest lovey and her silkie blanket to snuggle. She's allowed me to be completely open and honest with her about some things I am not sure other kids her age could handle. Just this week we had a huge heart to heart about friendships, being excluded, and how to be a better friend, even if that's not how the other person treats her. While sometimes my mind wants to come up with lame excuses for something to avoid the discussion that is about to unfold, I am amazed when I give her the benefit of the doubt and I'm just honest with her. With that I celebrate honesty, open dialogue, and motherhood.

Now, don't let my happy gushy mothering moments wrong here, we do have complete chaos quite often and screams of, "Both of you, get to your rooms right now, it's quiet time OR don't you dare pull your sister's hair again or else." There's kicking, dirty looks, stealing of things right out of the other's hand, and even some verbal meanness, like you are a B-A-B-Y, well you're a poopy head, yeah well you're a butt. Oh yeah, they are something those two.

These incredible tender moments have just exceeded any of the rewards I dreamt of reaping when I became a mother. My life is so complete with my girls and my husband, I feel so blessed.

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*Original art by Sj

5 comments:

  1. That is SO sweet. It makes you feel good as a parent, doesn't it? I know our girls would get along so well. They are alike in a lot of ways. I am feeling that way about my kids too. They grow up SO fast. It's good to remind ourselves about it from time to time and enjoy the good and be humorous about the bad. We are lucky :)

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  2. Sj is so talented!!

    I'm feeling the same right now. Joy and amazement! It's a happy time....

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  3. I loved reading this. It's pure sunshine in a few paragraphs.

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  4. This is motherhood in one gorgeous post. The good so outweighs the bad, even when the name calling and hair pulling gets out of control. Lovely, lovely update on your beautiful girls.

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  5. That is so sweet! And what an artist she is. Great painting!

    I love that she makes you breakfast.

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I always appreciate the gesture to stop and take a moment to comment. Thank you!