Wednesday, March 14, 2012

When Things Go Right

a long-ago summer "field trip"

Whew, where am I? I've been busy; hence the one-photo posts recently. Between school volunteering, all the kids' activities, lots of outdoor playtime (spring weather has arrived in earnest here, at least for the time being), running, work, and more, I feel like I'm constantly out of breath. But I have ten minutes now, to say hello, so I'll inhale and say hello.

Last night I went to my daughters' parent-teacher conferences. Julia's 2nd-grade state assessment reading score reflected middle-school-level reading ability. Genevieve's too little to be tested that far, but since she can read almost everything Julia can, I assume my kindergartner is also reading at or close to middle-school-level. Her teacher asked me what my secret was, noting only half-jokingly that she could use it to advise other parents on how to help their children get better at reading; but I had to tell her in all seriousness, "I did nothing. I can take no credit. She came this way."

But then I went to my other daughter's conference, where the conversation went similarly at some moments. And when I mentioned that I feel lucky to not have to worry about my children's academic abilities, Julia's teacher gently reminded me that while it may seem like luck to me, and while some of it is surely inborn and genetic (also luck!), much of it--without my even really thinking about it--is the result of the values I hold dear for my children: things like lots of books in the house, plenty of read-aloud and independent-reading time, the hundreds of hours of individual attention the children get from me after school, and during homework time, and all summer long when we go on field trips together. It was nice to be reminded to take credit when things are going well. So often moms mostly just feel guilty when something goes wrong.


It's a busy spring already, friends, and I'm off right now to take Genevieve to indoor gym playtime at the Y. These are her last three months of being little enough for it. I have to squeeze every drop of joy and love out of these wee-one playtime mornings that I can.


Rita said...

Wait. First of all, that photo can't be "long-ago" can it? I remember seeing that picture and noting that Paige owned that same dress and that was JUST YESTERDAY, right?

Secondly, I am SO PROUD that you crowed a bit about your mothering. How often do we beat ourselves up about the things we're doing wrong? I'm glad you took time to talk about things that are going RIGHT.

It's a good reminder to all of us who constantly torture ourselves!

Shannon said...

OK, it was a year and a half ago. To me, it feels like just yesterday too. :)

Mnmom said...

Maybe we Mom's should crow more? My high school Seniors are honor students and whip-smart. And I can say a lot of it was also TONS of books, music, and art that I provided. And I'm good at mothering because MY mom read to us all the time, played all kinds of music, let us play creatively, and allowed our brains to grow.