I’ve come to hate this time of year. The last week of school. When my Facebook stream fills up with all the pictures of all the kids of friends who are winning school awards for everything under the sun. Left and right little Johnny and little Susie got straight As and won State Science Fairs and all but cured cancer.
My kids are average. They read at grade level. They know just the right amount of math and science and social studies. They are not in chorus or band or math-letes. And 95% of the time I’m perfectly okay with that. They are great kids. They giggle and have fun, they are well adjusted, and loving. They are growing up just fine.
But this one week, when I swear all the moms I know, are all being so humbly proud of their little Einstein. Man I hate this week. I hate that it makes me feel like my kids are less than they should be. I hate that it makes me feel like I’m not doing something as a mom that I should be – that I feel guilty for working – as if that would really make a difference. Or that I didn’t send them to the right pre-school. That somehow their average academic performance is a reflection of something I have done wrong. There is a part of me that wants to enroll them in some intensive summer school program somewhere and get them overly prepared for next year.
And then I feel ridiculous for thinking they are less and I hate myself as a mom for thinking that way. I mean seriously after the year they have had. Lesser kids, with less spirit and less character would have fallen apart. My 4th grader had all A and Bs with the exception of 1 C. And the little one she had all Ss all year. Perfectly fine grades for 4th and 1st grade.
Truth be told, my oldest works her butt off for those grades. She’s not naturally inclined towards school work but she wants to do well and sometimes, well she as to work for that B. She’s darn proud of it and I’m proud of the effort she puts in. The little one, I suspect, if she buckles down, will be more apt to get better grades. It comes to her more naturally, but she hasn’t show the desire or drive yet. To her schoolwork is something that gets in the way of her social life.
There is nothing wrong with that at this age. But I have the hardest time with it sometimes. I feel like I’m the school equivalent of that overly competitive parent who stands at the fence at the ball park and yells and screams at the little kid who is clearly doing their level best but it just isn’t good enough. And then I feel ashamed of not feeling like they are enough or that I’m proud enough of them. And I pray they don’t catch on. That I hide it well enough.