This week is parent teacher conferences around here. You know, the days that your kids get out early and drive you nuts at home, but their teachers gush about how sweet and funny they are. Each year when that bright green sheet comes home for sign-ups, I always mark the first day, at the first time. I figure it is like a band-aid that has been fermenting on a finger for awhile. You don't really know what's going on under there, but you have to find out, and you might as well do it sooner than later.
Because I stay home, I have always viewed my kids welfare as my profession. Their success was my success, and their failures my failures as a parent. This is a flawed perception I realize, not only is it a wee bit narcissistic, but also because they are who they are and there is only so much you can do as a parent. I mean you can't sit next to them the day they take a test and poke them every time they get an answer wrong. You can't go in with an eraser and write their essays for them. Tempting, but no.
So when the school district called at the beginning of the year and said that they wanted to test Logan for the gifted program, I got a little puff of the ol' peacock feathers. I mean, come on all parents think their kids are smartest, cutest, most perfect things in the world, but I got the call confirming it. SCORE! Then reality set in the week after that when he brought home a math test that he got a D+ on. A re-evaluation of things brought me to the conclusion that perhaps the standards in Arizona were different than that in California, so what looked like gifted, was really just material he had already learned. Don't get me wrong, I still took him to the testing, but gifted is a really big word. It's the 5 year old who plays Chopin at the piano without looking at the music. That's not us. We are struggling with Hot Cross Buns on the recorder.
But alas, parent-teacher conferences brought another glimmer of hope. First was Caitlyn. I was a little nervous for that one. She hasn't really been bringing home any homework that quantifies what is going on in class. All she brings home are pictures of rainbows and butterflies. A happy well adjusted kid yes, but I was a little nervous about what she was learning. Turns out, it's a lot. She has patterns down, her upper and lower case letters and used 8 word sentences on the dibble test. The teacher said she doesn't send home a lot of homework because it is all day kindergarten and the concepts are reinforced multiple times throughout the day. I buy that. She also said she thoroughly enjoys having Caitlyn in class because she is so sweet and willing to learn. She even said that Caitlyn cracks her up with the stories she tells. Especially the one about the bad guys that broke into the principle's office and poured hot sauce all over his chair and then ran out the window really fast. There go those peacock feathers again.
After such a positive first conference, I was feeling pretty confident about Logan's this morning. The first thing she brought out were all of his sample writings and his grades for the quarter. Me being me and all that entails, my eyes went right to his writing scores. My heart started to flutter and my teeth started to clinch in response to what I saw. A C- on his first writing sample. What? No commas, no punctuation anywhere on the paper. What? This is my kid, I mean writing should be at the top, he should have issues in math, not writing right? I tried to process all of this information with his teacher sounding like that of Charlie Brown's in the background. I had to focus...what was she saying? Oh, that was a sample of the end of the year test they take? Oh, this was a free write exercise? Oh, he has all A's and a B+ in writing? Maybe I need to calm down. Oh, look at his bird in his picture, it has two wings and a tail; and the airplane says Southwest Airlines on it, that's hilarious! An A in music? Well then. Oh, he's such a sweet boy in class, and you love when he smiles? It just lights up the room? Yes, yes, I know, sometimes, I just get so sidetracked and forget.
So this year's conferences turned out not to have any pus filled green wounds underneath that fermenting band-aid. Nope turns out everything looks great, all that hard work and taking care of things turned out well. They are happy, well adjusted, beautiful, wonderfully successful average kids. And I couldn't be more proud!