Tuesday, May 24, 2016

This is what Mom's do....

I wouldn't call myself a helicopter parent.

In fact, I err more on the side of not wanting to upset the team, the school, the professionals, vs. raising cane on behalf of my sons.

I don't need my children to be the all star athlete (thank goodness, because they can't run without tripping), I don't need them to be straight A students (please don't be smarter than me!) & I don't need them to be the most popular (Actually, please don't be. That's too much unhealthy pressure!)

What do I want for my children then? 

I want to figure out who they are & give them every damn opportunity to be bold, confident and brave in those areas! (And perhaps I want to infuse their lives with a bit of my own selfish passions like love of adventure & a heart for Jesus.)

In the past month my inner mama-bear has been tested.

We walked into a new school system with two months to go in the school year. It was quickly brought to my attention that my son is "behind his peers" and "it's on [me] to catch him up." I was less quickly given options, assistance, & direction. It really was ON me. 

At eight years old, my second grader is scholastically passionate and seemingly statistically average. What do I say to that? BE passionate, son! I don't care what grade you get; I care that you try your hardest, I care that your eyes light up when you imagine seeing the Statue of Liberty in person, I light up when you spew facts you learned in class or ask questions we have to look up answers for together. THAT is success to this mom. 

I have NO problem with my son having a deficit or area of improvement. I don't expect, need, or anticipate perfection, but if there IS an issue, I will do whatever I can to give my children a leg up, to bring their head to the surface, to throw them a life raft, and/or to provide them with opportunity. When my son's teacher told me he was behind I asked: what can I do, where can I go & how can I help? But instead of answers I got: google it.

I started to feel crazy! How far behind is he? How much help does he need? What kind of help does he need?

I've been conflicted. I excused the teacher's distance with "it's the end of the school year....it must be frustrating to get a new student from a different state..." and I began to own what was "on me" to help him with. I began chasing down avenues for myself. I would not raise cane, it's my fault we are the inconvenience...

This is what Mom's do, right? We worry. We love so big our hearts explode and our brains are never off. How can we BE everything our children need while still being our selves and honoring our marriages as the priority?

To make a long story short, I had NO idea where to turn, I had my son assessed at Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes. As a mom, I needed to know how behind was my son? Was the teacher not teaching or was my child drowning (in her one week time with him). What I got was peace of mind. My son wasn't behind at all! He was ahead of his current grade level in his ability to comprehend and every piece that is involved with that. I cried. And then I got angry. I was furious I had spent weeks worried and wondering if I had missed something these last few years of his schooling. I was livid his teacher hadn't given me resources, hadn't offered to teach him what her classrooms processes are, I was angry at her.

When the kids were in bed & my husband was asleep, I sobbed until 2am. I mourned the work of our cross state move, the frustration with the school system, the exhaustion I felt emotionally. I praised God that I had answers, I had gotten help from friends, that I now knew what to do. I unloaded all of my feelings and questions and doubts and thanks that had been stuffed so tightly in but I now had permission to move past.

This is what Mom's do, right? We worry. We love so big our hearts explode and our brains are never off. This is what we do. We lay our hearts down at each morning drop off, pick them back up at each afternoon pick up, question our sanity, practice-practice-practice patience, strive to balance scholastic expectation with normal childhood needs along with sharing our faith, answering their questions, and providing them with a healthy family. This is what we do. And the job never ends, but if we're lucky, we know we aren't alone. I know I'm not alone. I've got a merciful God who reminds me to show that teacher mercy, to forgive, a God who asks me to lay my burdens at His feet even when I think they're mine to cling to, and a God who lets me weep & in the weeping shows me He loves ME just like I love my boys.

This is what Mom's do. 

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