making the grade

Today is report card day.

I grabbed the white envelope out of my second grader’s folder and ran into the living room. I needed to sit down in a cozy chair by myself for this.

“I hope she says something nice about my sweet little boy. I mean, he tries so hard and he works his little heart out. I know all the answers don’t come easily to him and his handwriting isn’t great, but please, Lord, let her notice the good parts of him. Please, please, please go easy on him.”

My mind was racing with these thoughts.

I mean, report cards are just so unnatural from what we face as adults.

As adults, if someone invites us for dinner, we tell them that we enjoyed it (even if the cooking wasn’t that great). If a friend helps us with a project, we tell her she did a great job (even if it wasn’t done perfectly). And if a neighbor feeds the dog (or opossum) while you’re on vacation, we point out their generous spirit (even if they left a few crumbs of dog food on the kitchen floor).

But in school? That’s when teachers have to be brutally honest. Even if it hurts. That’s just how it is.

This got me thinking… what if someone gave ME a report card every trimester.

E=Excellent, S=Satisfactory, NI=Needs Improvement

Meal planning: S-
Overall cooking: S
Reading: NI
Geography: S
Keeping up with friends: NI
Physical Education: NI
Housecleaning: NI-
Laundry: S-
Bible: S

And then there are the behavioral traits:

Observes rules: S
Responds to correction: NI
Shows self-discipline: S-
Accepts responsibility: S
Is courteous and considerate of others (at home): NI
Stays on task: NI
Works independently: E
Uses time constructively: S+
Shows neatness in work: NI

My son’s report card wasn’t perfect. But he scored better than I did in many areas.

And thank goodness, my loved ones don’t have to go to my conference on Thursday to review my grades. I would hate to be the one sitting at home waiting to hear what was said about me. I am definitely needing improvement.

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not another possum post

I swore I would not write one more word about the opposum. But there are a couple of things that just need to be said.

First of all, I can’t believe all of the rodent, muskrat, squirrel and skunk stories out there just waiting to be told! I love your comments! Please give me all the details. Then I don’t feel so alone in this world of furry creatures.

Second, I spotted the opossum today running across the patio and under the grill. OK. I use the term “running” very loosely here. It was more of a low-to-the-ground semi-quick waddle.

Fine. I can handle the possum taking up residence in the backyard.

But not this! Not SCALING the screen door as if my children wouldn’t notice his fat body and furry tail as he scurried to the top. Excuse me, Mr. Possum! You are NOT a spider! You are not even a squirrel! What are you doing climbing the screen door?!?

Oh, no. And NOT THIS. Not standing with his front paws on the sliding glass door, staring at the children with his eyes pleading, “Feed me! I loved your Fritos! I loved your Frosted Flakes! Please toss me one of those cheese sticks! Mmmm. Those brownies look good!”

This is TOO MUCH!

Repeat after me, Mr. Possum: “I am NOT a pet! I am an over-sized rat! I belong in the forest!”

Oh, my… I feel some poetry coming on.

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