We were scheduled to be at parent/teacher conference at four in the afternoon. I called my dad to see if he could help for an hour with the kids while Jeremiah and I talked to Mrs. R. He couldn't, but luckily Jerry showed up to help.
The kids happily played in the playground while we waited for our turn to enter the classroom. Jonas was talking to one of his friends, while Angus stood next to him. They were holding hands. Brothers stick together. Paloma climbed up the playground and slid down the slide. Again and again. Jerry showed up, took over the watch and we walked into the classroom.
Mrs. R started talking about Jonas' latest test scores. We were so impressed. He is above grade level in reading and above where he used to be in math, which is excellent. When he reads he shows expression, which can be hard for a first grader. He does great on his spelling tests. All the nightly readings have payed off, big time. He even reminds the teacher if they forget to work on a subject she had mentioned earlier. Not in a rude way, either, she made sure to tell us that. He is very polite, she said. He does worry when there is a change in routine, but he has gotten better about it.
This little boy is very different from Miah and I. I know Miah struggled a little when he was in elementary school. I was so shy and quiet that it stopped me from doing a lot in school. I never drew attention to myself, never raised my hand to answer questions. He raises his hand, he answers questions, he speaks up. Don't know why I was so painfully shy, but I am so grateful he is not. I hope my Angus and Paloma are free from it, too.
He is one of the best students, she said. At home, he can be troublesome and sometimes defiant, but he knows how far he can go with us. How many buttons he can push before mom and dad have had enough. Mrs. R said he tells the class to be quiet when she is talking. He helps his classmates. He is a good friend. He is a great student.
After I heard all she had to say about him, I almost got teary eyed right there in front of the teacher, but held it in. I was proud of him, of us. This job of raising these little beings is hard. No one ever tells you how hard it is going to be. You try to figure it out as you go along, each day, because you don't know what they will do next, how you will react in every situation that gets thrown at you, how they will act, what their personality will be like. Each child is different.
I go through this parenting journey trying to do the best I can, hoping my children grow up to be great people. People that will walk this earth with confidence, with respect for themselves and for others. Kind, compassionate, loving, strong, smart people and whatever else they bring from their own uniqueness. The list goes on.
I know it is only first grade, and that I still have many more years to go, many more conferences to attend, from not one child, but three of my loves. So far, I feel good on this journey. This moment, in this journey, I feel great.
This morning, the kids and I had breakfast at school. It was Jonas' first time eating in the cafeteria for breakfast. He had heard that they give prizes for eating there. Turns out they give prizes if your tray had a marking under it. We looked under our trays. There were no markings on ours. He was upset about it. He wanted to get a prize, so he pouted the entire time we were there.
I told him he should be happy that we were trying something new. Angus and Paloma loved being in school. They were having a fun time. The bell rang and we had to go. Before he walked into class, he asked me if we could eat there again tomorrow. I said we could.
In the afternoon, when he got into the car after school, the first words that came out of his mouth were, "I feel so bad for you mom."
He handed me a note that he had written explaining how bad he felt for his behavior at breakfast.
He cried at school that morning he said, because he kept thinking of me at breakfast and how I was trying to make the best of it. I told him I wasn't upset about that morning. I thanked him for my note and told him how much I appreciated his apology. I told him he didn't have to be sad for me.
My heart swells, almost ready to burst at moments like these. Moments where my children amaze me. Where all I can think is that I am so proud to be their mother.