November 27, 2010

Bragging Rights

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 12:32 am by letterstoelias

Now, I’ve hesitated to even write about this because I don’t want it to come off the wrong way,  but I figure the last 19months have been so hard, I may as well take the good where I can get it (mind you, there still managed to be a little ‘bad’ at the end . . . . but I’ll get to that)

I always hoped to homeschool my children – at least for the first few years of their education.  There were many, many reasons, and Elias was on board with it provided we could find a way to make it work.  We had figured that by the time E was ready for 1st grade I would be able to scale down a bit of my work hours, and it would be a good fit.

When Elias died, it felt like it was just another one of my dreams lost.  I still wonder if I can find a way to make it work, but when kindergarten enrolment came around I figured since it’s supposed to be play-based (and since her school stayed with the half-day program) I would enrol her and would still have another year to figure out the future.

There are a lot of things to keep track of even though they are only 5.  Library day, gym day, poetry duo-tang day, letter log day – there seems to be ‘something’ almost every day that I need to send in or sign, and there is even ‘homework’ (granted they don’t track it and it only takes 2 minutes to do, but still . . . ).

Earlier this week the class had a ‘Brag Night’.  It was an opportunity to go into the classroom and see photos of what they have been up to, have E give me a ‘tour’ of the stations, and take a look at her scrapbook.  She draws all the time at home and always shows me her artwork, but something about being able to flip through it all in this book was truly great.  A couple weeks prior the teacher had requested students bring in a family photo – I had been wondering what it was for, and on this night I found out.  Within the scrapbook, there was a small book of ‘thanksgivings’.  Some of it was written by the teacher and other parts by the student – and when I saw the words “I am thankful for the Family that loves me every day’.  I knew immediately what was coming next.  It was tough not to go into a complete sob at that point . . .  I felt bad we didn’t have more time to spend there – after leaving the store we had E’s ballet, then a super quick dinner before heading up to the school, and I will admit that I still have a hard time at events like this – but I was glad we made it.

Last week I received E’s ‘report card’.  I find it funny to give report cards in kindergarten.  It didn’t tell me anything I wasn’t expecting to hear or already knew – she exceeds expectations in reading (considering she can read her own homework that was no surprise), and meets expectations in all other areas.  Then, just the other day I had the parent/teacher interview.  The teacher told me about the evaluations that the district did recently with the students.  Again – I’m not one who really feels it’s necessary to put any emphasis on testing, I don’t even know why it’s done in a ‘play based’ program – but at the same time I couldn’t help but feel pretty damn proud when she told me how well E did.

On the literary section, where the average score (not just her class) is 55/100, E scored 99.  And, the teacher said she would have given her the point that was missed, and she also went above what was required of her in other areas (spelling whole words when she was only asked to write the first letter).  For the ‘math’ section, she scored 98/100 where the average was 65 (or was it 68?).  Aside from all of this, the teacher spoke about what a joy she is to have in the class (again, no big surprise).  She is friendly with all the students, considerate, listens well, is enthusiastic and so on.

As I’ve already mentioned, I know all this to be true about my lovely little girl anyhow (and I haven’t even discussed the marks with E), but given all she has been through and just how much she is missing in her life, I am so, very happy to know that at least in some ways things are going well for her right now.  I want more than anything for her, and myself, to focus on internal peace and acceptance, not looking outwards for approval (and I’m not saving for Harvard yet or anything) but it was still rather rewarding.

Now, the bad news I referred to earlier . . . . while driving back to work after the interview, we took ‘bumpity bumpity’ road – it’s a short dirt road filled with potholes that the girls love me to take for the bouncy factor.  I always drive it slowly, and tried to take extra care on this day as it was rather icy out.  I stopped at the end of the road, and when I saw it was safe for me to take the right hand turn off of it, though I accelerated very slowly, my tires still managed to slip just enough to bump the bottom/side of my car on a big, low rock, which took the long narrow panel that runs the length of the bottom of my car right off.  I looked in the rear-view mirror to see the piece of my car behind me.  It’s times like this where you can’t help but feel like you aren’t ‘supposed’ to have too much to enjoy . . . but surprisingly enough it didn’t really do much to dampen my spirits as it might have at some other point in my life.  No, I’m not happy about it, but it’s really not all that important either.

And, it’s not that I want to put a damper on everything, but I am here to write how I feel – the other downside to the story is – as much as I was excited about how well E is doing, and thought throughout the day how proud Elias would be too – once I was on my own that night, the fact that he is not here in person to ‘celebrate’ with me was hard to take.  Really hard.  It’s times like this where the hole feels so big.  The other parent – the only other person in the world as invested as you are – is not there to enjoy it with you.  I gather eventually some of the sting of this will wear off and it will be easier to enjoy on my own, but it hasn’t yet.


Our little girl is thriving.  She misses you terribly, but she is smart, she is beauty, she is everything, she is love.


P.S.  I Love You



  1. Debbie said,

    Congratulations to Eibhlin! It is so tough when our kids’ Dads are not there to share in all that is going on in their lives. I hope you’re right and the sting will eventually wear off.

    Hugs and love to you Chels.

  2. Boo said,

    I’m very proud to count you as one of my widow friends. She’s obviously bright BUT some of the credit is yours too. Through the hell you’ve been thru you have been such a wonderful mom. The proof is in her behaviour and that report was amazing. I am so sad that you couldn’t share it with the one person who should have been there too. Xx

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