Thursday, March 1, 2012

Following Directions Is for Sissies

Today's post isn't really about writing. Well... it is in that I had to write something, but it was a letter, not a book. So hopefully you'll bear with me.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll see me talk about my kids (The Boy and Mini-Me) every so often. I freaking love my kids. Not just love them because they’re mine but because they crack me up with their awesomeness.

So, it’s parent-teacher conference time and I’m buried in work and RT is coming… and The Boy’s teacher sends homework for the parents. We’re supposed to write a letter to our kid for conferences. It got pushed to the side and forgotten. Until today. Because, you know, it’s due tomorrow. (Procrastination for the win!)

Last year when I had to do this, I had to read the letter to The Boy at conferences. It made his teacher cry (because I’m all eloquent and stuff). So I sit down and say, “All right, I can do this!” For a minute, I debated trying to go funny and do a rant on homework, but I didn’t think that would go over so well, so I did heartfelt again.

I talked about sharing a love of storytelling and what a great brother he is and how he makes me realize that he’s the kind of person I want to grow up to be.

It was a very honest and true letter. I printed it out… and realized there were instructions on what we were supposed to write about. You know, things like what we’re proud of them for (did that), how far they’ve come (meh), and what their goals should be for the rest of the year (are you kidding me?). At first when I saw the instructions, I’d debated re-doing the letter, but when I saw that last bit, I stuffed the one I’d written into the envelope and put it in his backpack to take to school.

You see, teachers are like editors for our kids. They’re the ones who have to point out all the stuff they do wrong. That’s their job (I know because I did it for a while)—they are supposed to make the kids “better.” My job as a parent isn’t to tell him he needs to work more on capitalization and punctuation. I’m supposed to tell him that he’s a shining star because he busts his butt every day. That he’s gone from being special ed, title one, autistic to being completely mainstreamed and gaining ground on his autism every day and applauding the fact that he reads like a fiend. My job is to tell him how freaking awesome he is.

I’m not his editor. Not about this. I have to harp on him about brushing his hair and his teeth cleaning his room. As far as what he’s done in school though? I get to be his biggest fan.

So I decided to screw the “rules.” Because when he’s beside himself frustrated because things don’t come easy to him like they do to the other kids, The Boy won’t care about me telling him about how important proper grammar is. But if we’re both really lucky, he’ll remember that I think he’s perfect.

That’s homework for parents that I can get behind.

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