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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Today I became a better mom

Today I did something moderately frightening. I participated in a federal review for my son's preschool. I went in with the mindset of telling them all the things I intensely hated.

This did not happen.

Instead, I told them all the things I loved. When the moment came for me to open my mouth, I only had one thought.

My son goes to school every day, he loves his teachers and he has friends.

A year ago this month,  I sat in a daycare office and heard how a teacher wanted to quit her job because of how hard it was to teach my son. He was "mean", he was "unruly", he was the model of a "bad child". And it wasn't the first I had heard it. That was time number 3. By the third time of hearing these thjngs, you begin to question your parenting. Did I mess him up so bad that he can't even behave at school? Am I doing this really wrong? What the hell is wrong with ME? With US?

I haven't heard this once at his preschool. I've heard "bad day" and "rough morning", but never once "bad kid". I don't get phone calls to pick him up early because he can't be handled. I don't dread taking him there knowing what will happen in an hour.

Honestly, for that alone, those girls get a gold star. Not only do they treat my son with respect (which was lacking other places), they teach him how to respect other people. He hasn't hit anyone in months. He doesn't scream at people anymore. I have what other parents have had all along. I have a kid I can send to school and not worry all day.

He gets hugs from kids when he gets there and before he leaves. He loves to teach me the songs they sing during music. He taught me the backwards alphabet.

I left that room knowing I had things I didn't like, but in the end the good outweighed the bad. That federal reviewer heard none of my bad. I feel like I did something big today. Something that just last year I wouldn't have done.

I became a real mom. I saw that school through his eyes and realized he loves it just as it is, and so what if I don't like something silly. So he goes home an hour early?  And I have to have meetings twice a month? My life isn't ending. And my kid is getting what he wants. What he needed.

He has friends. He has fun. He learns.

And damn it, I'm good but I can't give him all that here. And he deserves it. And frankly, I'm proud of myself. Last year, I couldn't have done that. Maybe his school is teaching me something too.