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.

10 Responses

  1. Oh Emily, you are much too hard on yourself. I look at you and your accomplishments and think “how excellent.” I give you E for excellent. Besides, meal planning is hard; harder than physics!:)Lynn

  2. Lynn, You’re right… I am hard on myself. But I do honestly feel I could do better in many areas, especially the ones involving my attitude!Some weeks I have a great handle on my meal planning while other weeks, I’m just so tired of my own cooking, I can’t even stand to think about eating my own tacos! =] We all struggle with this stuff, I know! Being a mom is just not a simple job!

  3. This is precious Emily! I spent 7 years on the “other side” as a teacher, but now as a mom, the report card/parent conference takes on an entirely new meaning! On a separate note, I’ll be looking for your “Lost” analysis tomorrow! Can’t wait to see tonight’s episode! Hope you’re enjoying this sunny day…. 🙂

  4. What a great way of looking at things. I’m glad nobody is giving me a report card today – although I’m sure we’re harder on ourselves than anyone else would be. Love your blog – it’s great!

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