In 3 days my daughters will receive their 2nd trimester report cards. I have a 5th grader and a 6th grader. About 5 minutes ago (!!), I admitted that my girls are not straight "A" students. I said it out loud....to myself and Lola. Lola is my daughter's dog. She barely opened her eyes when I made this bold statement. I have known this for a while. I have said it before...in jest or in defense, or in embarrassment even.
If you know me, you already know I am brilliant. If you know my husband, you know where his brilliance lies as well.
Together, my husband and I created these darling girls. The gene pool is rich with brilliance. However, except for Grace's 4th grade year where her whack-o teacher gave everyone straight "A"s...my girls have not received many of the coveted "A"s. I have tried to be satisfied with the report cards. I have focused on the positive grades and down played the less positive grades. We instituted a reward system for good grades...a monetary reward system. Let's just say, Boyd and I MADE money on the deal.
My daughters are capable of pretty good grades. I have had them both in tutoring for 4+ years. Grace struggles in Math and Lea struggles in Language Arts....although her language is quite....shall we say...artistic (!!).
I am on homework duty every day. I quiz, I supervise, I assist, and sometimes I even threaten and shout. Yes, I have my flaws. My expectation level is up here~~~~~~, the results are somewhere around here__________!
At Christmastime, my daughters asked Daddy what they would get if they got "straight A's on their next report card". He said...an iPhone 5. I went, to quote my sister, HIGH AND TO THE RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Later that day...as I berated my husband for saying such a crazy thing, he bonked me on the forehead and said to me, "umm, babe, do you actually think they are going to get straight A's"?
Weirdly, I was barely relieved, I was maybe more pissed. Oh so now they are not capable of straight A's. Hey, I told you I had flaws......
Bottom line....that crazy promise that Boyd made to them, has consumed them. They mention it weekly. Recently, it has been...DAILY! Lea, in her own form of brilliance, has acted like she is on my side (an iPhone5 IS too much for a young girl), and has switched her straight A reward to a....wait for it....a horse!
Well ladies and gentlemen...in 3 days do you think I will be at the AT&T store and/or a horse auction? Third choice? Bawling my eyes out.
Oh wait, their report cards are not about me. I didn't earn or not earn the grades....or did I?
Good lord, I cannot stop myself from obsessing over their grades. Grace asked me the other day if a bad grade would affect her getting into college?
FIFTH grade. SIXTH grade. I really should snap out of it. And I will.
My girls are super. Super amazing. Brilliant in so many ways I would make you puke if I listed them all. Elementary school cannot measure their brilliance. Their school subjects do not allow them to showcase all of their attributes or demonstrate all of their strengths. It is a snapshot view of their performance on test day. And sometimes test day is a low performing day.
I cannot promise that my emotions won't be high on Report Card Friday. In fact, I can just about guarantee that they will be. Either they will shock me with straight A's or I will console them because they didn't get straight A's. It is really an impossible situation.
I casually mentioned that they could earn their rewards (amazingly over-promised rewards), by being well behaved, kind to each other and to their parents, working hard on the sports' fields and on the track, giving it 100% every day....etc. They seemed a bit relieved. But of course those things are being measured EVERY DAY, so maybe they shouldn't be so relieved....
I need to get myself together and focus on the true measure of their brilliance. The life they live. The way they treat others. The effort they exhibit. If they continue to excel in these areas....straight A's don't mean a thing.
Not. A. Thing.