Last night was Back To School Night at B's school. Basically it's all about getting to know your child's teacher, the curriculum overview for the year, expectations of your child, that sort of thing. Everything went very well. D and I were very impressed with B's teacher's understanding of her students abilities and aspirations, her adaptation to the curriculum and expectations that her students would achieve and exceed goals set for them. She seems more than capable to get our daughter through 3rd grade. So why did I spiral into a monumental depression last night? One that couldn't even be completely dispelled by coconut Coke and an episode of my most candy-coated retro television show? One that carried over to this morning.
D did his best to help me figure it out, which involved the two of us laying side by side on the office floor staring at the ceiling while we talked it through. This is a tactic that seems to work better than any other for getting to the root of problems. There's just something about abandoning everything and laying prone with nothing to focus on but the matter at hand. It took all of 5 minutes to resolve my mothering issue. Yeah, it turned out to be another one of those.
It turns out that my subconscious was trying to tell my conscious mind that I need to back off this year...have we talked about this before? It seems like a familiar tune. Third grade is a big change (this also seems like an old familiar feeling). The teachers stop coddling the students, they're expected to work independently and stay on task and finish their work without prodding. They're expected to step up and understand the difference between doing enough to get by and excelling. While her teacher talked about multiplication, long division, and strategies for memorization all I could do was break out into a cold sweat on the inside of my body. All of this is up to me, right? RIGHT? I'm responsible for her learning or not learning, passing or not passing, impressing or... A-ha. There it is.
I'm so concerned with B's academic reputation that I put myself in a tizzy trying to figure out how I'm going to get her to learn all these things. But the reality is that it's up to her. And she's more than capable, recent test scores proved this. So I have to take a step back, and then another, and another until I'm just far enough removed to watch her succeed, but to still be there to bandage the ego when she fails. And she will fail. Kids can't not fail. It's part of being a kid as much as getting hit in the face with a waffle-print dodge ball...or was that just me?
It's not as easy as it sounds though. I've stuck myself to her like that impossibly strong heavy duty velcro when it comes to academics. I've been able remove myself slowly over the years from her social life and it's been really good for her, I've watched her absolutely blossom into an outgoing, fearless girl. Learning is the last major stronghold. I'm about to begin the removal process. Wish me luck.