September 2008

Parenting

Author: Mary Frances | Photographer: Mine Studios

I am so glad that I have this outlet to share the highs and lows and in-betweens of parenting. I had a high and a low today all in the matter of about 1 second! Last week my second grader had a vocabulary test. It was on the words in the Pledge of Allegiance. For instance he had to know the definition of allegiance, pledge, republic, liberty and a few other words. This was a simple assignment and he had 4 days to learn the words and their definitions. We worked on it and you would have thought that I was asking him to conjugate a verb or speak and translate another language. He would know the answer and then 2 seconds later when I asked the next word he would repeat the same answer from before. I thought to myself, “We are in for a LONG year”!

He took the test on Friday and I asked him how he thought he did. He said he thought he might have missed a few. Then a few days later we had curriculum night (which I must ask, did our parents have to go to as much as we do? Has school changed so much that we, the parents, need to go back to school as well for all these parent teacher meetings? I digress).

As I was saying, at curriculum night the teacher mentioned the poor results from the first vocabulary test. She mentioned that they had really worked on it in school so she was expecting a lot more. So of course now I was expecting A LOT LESS. Today I picked my son up from school and he handed me his vocabulary test. A PERFECT SCORE! Yeah! Total high point for a mom. We worked, we practiced, and we scored! I was so excited for him! Now here comes the low. I actually made a gleeful noise and I stretched my arms out and leaned down to hug him and tell him how happy I was for his accomplishment….and he DUCKED away from my hug.

Did you miss it? High…he succeeded. Low…he dodged me. How am I to respond to this from a 7 year old? I thought this was something i would experience way down the line. Later tonight we laughed about it and he said it is a little embarrassing in front of other kids. We agreed that a high five was acceptable. After tucking them in tonight I have decided that I will not stop trying to hug him even in public. Okay, for those of you out there who say things like, “respect his wishes”, I will respond with No. I think too many parents are afraid to say, “Sorry kid. In this family we hug”. I forgot that I don’t make promises that I can’t keep. I can not promise my kid that the natural instinct to hug them when they are sad, or happy won’t happen anymore and that I will high five instead. I guess I will have to deal with the blows to my ego and he will have to deal with the hugs!

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