Parenting

“Please Discuss at Home”

Three more days of this ridiculous fiction excursion.  (Fiction excursion, fiction excursion.  That’s right up there with “unique New York.”)  The story of misguided Mags is nearing the end, thankfully.  Just remember, this is all Alex’s fault because he had to know what happened.  Digging this far into my brain is never advisable.  Okay, here’s today’s snippet of the story:

But trying to blow up her car…she did not see that coming.  They were getting desperate, trying to take her out before fall season.  Mags sighed.  It had been a good run, but it was time for the Shin Guard Bludgeoner to retire.

(Mommy bloggers* just don’t use the word “bludgeon” enough, in my opinion….  I should start working it in more often.  He bludgeoned the Lego tower, she bludgeoned the mashed potatoes on her plate…I bludgeoned the blog….)

I’m currently dangling off a proverbial cliff, wondering what’ll happen.  (Oh, this is my real life, not Mags’s fictional mess.)  I’m in the part of the book process when my manuscript is with my wonderful editor.  In my mind, she’s like Jillian Michaels shredding off my book’s weird lumps and excess booty.  It’s an unsettling feeling, having your words out there and not knowing if they’re a lost cause or if she’s making sense of everything.

Kind of like sending a kid to school.**

Last year, as my children came home and told me about their first days, I received an email from one of their teachers.  “Your child had a rough day and was [insert problem].  Please discuss at home.”  On the first day.

I was so glad the teacher told me, and we definitely discussed at home.

And also, as a mommy, I felt this sinking in my heart.  I sent my baby into the world and my baby struggled and didn’t fit in and people needed my baby to change.

This is a normal and healthy process.  Our kids are growing and learning and figuring out what’s acceptable in social situations.  And sometimes it’s really hard hearing feedback from others and makes my heart feel squeezy.

But it helps us grow.  It makes us better.

When that teacher emailed me, it wasn’t a commentary on my parenting or a missive that I’d failed.  It wasn’t a declaration that my child was awful.  It was an invitation to partnership.  It was like, “Here’s what happened on my shift.  Can you follow up on yours?”

Throughout the year, we did a lot of partnering.  It was humbling for me, because if I’m really honest with myself, I want my kids to just nail it, get along with people, and do well in school and have it all come effortlessly and naturally.  So it can make me feel like I’ve done something wrong when they struggle.  I feel embarrassed that they aren’t performing perfectly.

But that’s my own junk, this embarrassment and perfectionism, and I’m smearing it onto my very unique kids.  Because if I’m still learning and falling down and getting back up at thirty-seven-years-old, then they definitely get to do that in elementary school.  This is what childhood is for, learning how to get along, how to work hard, how to play well with others.  (This may be what adulthood is for, too, because I have yet to meet an adult who nails these things, either.)

And so we send our kiddos out, whether to a classroom or a homeschool group or a preschool or a play group, and we receive them back into our arms, and we get this sense of team.  I started to tear up yesterday thinking about what the school year will hold, the areas in which my children may or may not struggle, and I prayed for their teachers, their principal, the other members of the team who are helping our kids grow.

I’m saying this to myself as much as to anyone else who needs to hear it:  it’s going to be okay.

__________________________________________

*Tomorrow’s post is going to be about this term.  I just decided.  Look at me planning ahead.

**Despite my efforts to block it out, I keep thinking about school, probably because the Great Email Machine has started sending me all the school emails again and it is upon us.  If it makes you feel better, I was having these thoughts while at the pool, which is where I’ll be until the bus comes.

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