MOM FAIL TONIGHT. True confession. Homework is gonna be the death of us all. The Girl had two pages of math to accomplish tonight, and I was kind of exhausted-ish. This is not the combo of greatness. It doesn't help that when The Girl gets stuck on a problem she gets grumpy. Basically, there was a hurricane, and I was at the center. Now, I feel kind of down which isn't a great thing because, like I said before I am kind of exhausted-ish.
The Girl really struggles with numbers in school. She is wicked smart and started talking at 9 months, but school is another story. She started her career in private school, which is a great option, if your kid learns traditionally. Most private schools have little to offer for kids with learning disabilities or special needs. It's understandable. The private school system has to manage a massive overhead, and many private schools are small - the staff is already pulling double-duty. When I taught in the private school system, I had at least three extra responsibilities on top of being a classroom teacher.
We live in a land of BEST and FIRST and SMARTEST and FASTEST. What happens when we are none of those things? I am a perfectionist who can obssess over the smallest errors, and I think God had a tremendous sense of enjoyment in giving me a beautiful, creative and complicated daughter who never seems to fit neatly into any box. It's a test of my fortitude - or maybe it is a test to see if what I say I believe is something I really believe in.
Back when The Husband was going to auto mechanic school, I took a second job waiting tables; at Applebees. True Story. I had never waitressed up until that point, so I was a total newbie. Me, being me, I started to get fixated on being The Best Waitress Who Ever Lived - Ever. But then I really reflected on the concept. Would it be okay for me to be mediocre at something? Serving wasn't my real career -- it was a side gig WHILE I was teaching. Could it be okay for me to do my best each shift -- even if my best wasn't THE best? I sort of relaxed then. I'm not a super awesome server -- I paid attention to my tables and tried really hard not to screw up, but I was definiately NOT the best server on the floor. Some of those girls are stunningly amazing at what they do, and don't kid yourself waiting tables is one of the toughest jobs I've ever done. Just keep that in perspective -- I've willing spent nine months of a year in a room trying to convince 9th graders that William Shakespeare is on point (He is, by the way, don't get me started), and waiting tables is tougher than that!
Not to over sell it - but I love the line in Hamilton that says, "Death doesn't discriminate between the sinner and the saint, it takes and it takes and it takes. And we keep living anyway. We rise and we fall and we break and we make our mistakes." I like that. Rising and falling, it is all part of being human, which I guess should make me feel better when I screw up over a stupid math worksheet.
And I suppose, on a deeper level is just one more example of me attempting to be The Best Ever. I even want to be the best Mom who ever lived, and making mistakes, or not being patient enough seems to remind me that I am trying to reach an impossible goal. The Girl is such a wonderful portrait of that - she is nothing that you expect. Her vocabulary would lead you to believe that she learned to read quickly and easily - she did not. Her sense of humor would lead you to believe that she is comfortable and bold in social situtations - or even that she would enjoy acting -- and yet she suffers from nearly encapciating stage fright. Her beautiful sketches would lead you to believe that she must have a tremendous spatial sense, and perhaps strong number sense -- Nope again. She is a mystery that can neither be contained nor commanded. She is herself; wild, free and unique.
I wish I could remember that. All my favorite stories are about long-shots, and underdogs. People who on the surface give no indication of a greatness that lies within. I can't really have it both ways -- celebrate those underdog stories of overcoming and demand perfection of myself. Those oposing images can't be merged. And isn't it when we give up and resign ourselves to be who we are that things fall into place?
I'm going to bed now. I am much too tired for philosophy or, apparently, parenting. I'm going to lay my head on my pillow, and try not to obssess over all my errors. I'll close my eyes and hold on to the image of The Girl, bursting with joy and surprise, as she receives an award that recognizes her artistic abilites while her classmates applaud. She is filled only with the pride in her ability to do the thing that gives her greatest joy, as all the rest fades into the background.
March to your own beat, and when darkness falls, rest.