Friday, June 10, 2011

It's Important to Me...

The other night I told the girls that before they went to sleep they should pray for the Bruins to kick ass. Spice lit up and said, “You are gonna let us say ASS to God?!” Why not? Just this once, it’s practically a special occasion. They trotted off to bed, prayed for the ass-kicking and fell right to sleep.

Yes, horrified readers, I let the girls use the word “ass.” If that makes me a bad mother in your eyes, that’s ok with me. Because unlike you, there is a group of people who think I am an uptight, rigid, pain-in-the-ass mother. What with my being a stickler for following laws and rules and all. I force my kids to sit in their car seats with seat belts on, I don’t let them call shotgun and sit in the front seat and I force them to go to school on a regular basis. Call the authorities, there is abuse going on over here!

There are rules in my house, some can be broken, some cannot. I’ll allow the word “ass” in a song or when Daddy’s team is playing a big game. I’ll allow ice cream for dinner if it’s hot and I don’t feel like cooking. I allow the girls to keep their rooms looking like dumps and I let them dress like train wrecks as long as the important parts are covered. Bedtime is somewhat flexible on non-school nights, and the place where they choose to sleep varies.

I am not flexible when it comes to treating others respectfully and kindly. There is hell to pay when this rule is broken. Ask the Sandbox Bully how her night went after her shenanigans earlier this week. We keep our bathroom clean, clothes in the hamper, help around the house and always say “please” and “thank you.”

My biggest sticking point is related to the education of my girls. One of the greatest gifts that I can give them as a mother is my support, involvement and encouragement in their educations. That is not to say I volunteer for every field trip, attend PTA meetings, and act as room mother.  It IS to say that I know what’s going on with my child’s education EVERY SINGLE DAY. We talk about their school days (if I haven’t already had a *ahem* report from a teacher). We work on their homework together and we absolutely read and work on spelling words daily. I’m sure as they get older, they will want me to me less involved with their schooling and I will let go. If there ever comes a time when their grades are less than stellar, you bet your ass I’ll be all over them again.

In my opinion, getting your child through school is a two-part process. First, they have a school to go to every day and a teacher (or teachers) that teach them. Second, they have parents or other family members that guide them and encourage them to do well in school. It is my job as a parent  to make sure my kids are well rested and fed before being sent off to school. It’s my job to send them to school regularly, no sick days for hangnails! It’s my job to make sure their homework is done to the best of their ability (even though I really want to do the damn math myself and get it over with faster). It is my job to provide them a clean, quiet place where they can do their homework with my assistance when they need it. It is my job to know how my girls are doing in their classes at all times. I do this by asking the girls how their respective days were. If I have questions, I check in with the teacher. I do this by looking over every progress report and report card and again, if I have questions, I check in with their teacher. Their teachers know me by sight and by name. That way, if there’s ever an issue, they are comfortable addressing it with me.

By teaching my girls to be hard-working students, I think I’m giving them a good foundation for college, if that’s what they choose… and for their careers. They will have learned that some days you don’t feel that great, but you still need to go to work. They’ll learn that they have to do the job they are paid to do, even when their boss is an asshole. There are times to be flexible, and there are times when you need to put up and shut up and get through. It’s all about putting forth effort and succeeding.

Yesterday my heart was broken because of a failure out my control. I can point the finger at her and say she didn’t really try, but I can also say that she was never really taught to respect the opportunities that education would provide for her.

I started with prayer talk, and I’ll end with that too: “God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.” There’s nothing that I could have done about yesterday that ever would have made a damn bit of difference. The situation was out of my control and I need to accept that.

Ice Princess 

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