Thursday, June 7, 2012

Parenting FAIL number.... I think I should stop counting... it's just making me look bad.

Yesterday was Munchkin's moving on ceremony from 5th grade. I'm going to confess something here and it's not popular with other moms, I know it. But I'm all about honesty.

I didn't realize it was that big of a deal.

She's moving on from 5th grade. She's not graduating from college.  She has managed to pass through the most basic level of our educational system.  I'm sorry that I don't feel overwhelmed with pride.

Yes, I get a weepy when I reminisce and realize my little girl is growing up. I understand the importance of recognizing that she is moving on from one stage of childhood to a new stage where she will begin learning to be a young woman. I have all the normal mom emotions that go along with watching her grow and change and advance.

I just don't think that the fact that she has passed the 5th grade is something to throw a party over and I didn't realize that this ceremony, held in the middle of the week, in the middle of a work day, was supposed to be one of those things you drop everything and put on eyeliner to attend.

The ceremony was at noon, yesterday, a Wednesday. Obviously, in reality, the school doesn't think it's that big of a deal, either, or they would have scheduled the thing at a time when most parents could actually attend.  But they sure made it out to be a big deal to the 5th graders because Munchkin made a big stink about making sure The Man and I attended.

So we did.  It was important to her and we're all about being there for our kids, so we were there.

We sat in the cafeteria with a bunch of other parents, grandparents, and siblings and their digital SLR cameras. The Man decided that everyone was out of work due to the economy and that's why they could all attend. I wondered how they afforded thousand dollar cameras with no job.

And then the ceremony began.  Kids were being called up for all kinds of awards. Presidential, Honor Role, $500 scholarship funds for being a good person, and more.

Munchkin was called up for nothing.

And while I was a little annoyed with the fact that we were attending a ceremony to watch a bunch of kids I didn't know stand up and get awards, I realized that it was important to Munchkin that we were there when she walked across the stage to get her "diploma."  Really? Diploma?

So she walked across the stage, we watched a little slideshow presentation of all the kids as babies and now. I chose to send in a picture of Munchkin at the horse show and realized that due to the helmet, I don't think any of the kids realized it was her, oh well - I'm sure she let them all know.

And after the ceremony we were told that we should go back to the classroom where the teacher would be handing out some other awards that the kids had earned.

Here was the chance. Munchkin was sure to be awarded something in the classroom, right?

The Man and I took a seat in the classroom in chairs made for 5th grade behinds, and waited to hear how awesome our kid was.

Every kid came up and accepted something. I counted. Every kid.

Except one.

You guessed it.

Oh, but never fear, we didn't leave empty-handed.  I was given a slip of paper that let me know which library books Munchkin had checked out and neglected to bring back, and told that she would not receive her report card until they were paid for.

I cannot tell you what a proud mommy moment that was.

Y'all, I'm not proud of what I did next, but I hope you can understand what place I was coming from when I did it.  And if you can't... well, what amazing children you must have and how lucky you must be to have never been in my shoes at this moment.

The Man described it as me being "harsh".... but I know I was just downright mean.

As we walked to the car after leaving the school, Munchkin was all bubbly and happy.  And it made me mad. And the anger boiled up inside of me and came right out of my mouth.

"Maybe the next time you beg for Daddy and me to come to one of your awards ceremonies, you might want to make sure you ACTUALLY GET AN AWARD!"

It was venomous, too.

Listen, I told you I wasn't proud of it.

She cried, I felt sort of bad... but at the time I was still so mad.  Now I feel really bad.  It's one of those moments she's going to be talking to a therapist about in 15 years and pointing to as the reason for all of her life failures and struggles. I do realize this.

So today I'm going to eat crow and apologize to my daughter and let her know that I am proud of her... even if I don't do a very good job of expressing it sometimes.

Sometimes it sucks to be a grown-up.


the_happy_hausfrau said...[Reply to comment]

Sorry, but that sucks that the teacher didn't give her an award for something, anything, if every other kid in the class got one.

I hate that this is how our schools are now, that kids are being praised for stuff that they SHOULD be doing. I think it's making a generation of entitled kids who expect rewards for "feats" that kids before them, and kids around the world do just because it's what's expected of them.

But it still doesn't make up for the fact that teachers should do the obvious and not leave anyone out, even for a bogus "awards ceremony". Don't beat yourself up for losing it, I would have most likely done the same thing.

That said, what is up with all the expensive cameras? I was at two "graduations" this week and I swear there were easily $50k worth of cameras at each one.