Coen has been stressing out all weekend long about this timed addition test, after the completion of which, can he then go on to the multiplication test. I resolved to talk to his teacher about this, which I did this morning.
His teacher explained that it is simply her assessment tool and he is welcome to do multiplication lessons anytime he wants. Bottom line, it is not going to change.
As a parent, you want to fix your child's problems, settle their woes and ease their pains. I know that part of my job as a parent is to let him have his woes and problems and pains so he can learn to work them out himself. Man, that hurts. So standing in the school hallway this morning, I suddenly found my eyes filling with tears as I told my son there was nothing that I could do. It was an unexpected thing, these tears, and quite unwelcome as there were several other teachers and parents passing me by, witnessing my moment of utter frustration.
The thing about me is...I cry. I cry when I'm happy. I cry when I'm angry. I cry when I'm relieved or stressed or frustrated or sad. I cry at commercials and movies and songs. I cry each and every time one of my friends cries. I cry. That's what I do. So, though for me, this display of emotion was normal, of course I'm thinking these parents/teachers see me and think I'm unstable. Or perhaps I'm making my child feel insecure and worried.
After I got it together and Coen, Lucy and I sat in a heap in the hall, talking it out. And I dropped them off at class and kissed them goodbye. I was on my way to go give Coen a quick reassuring hug before going to work and I passed a teacher/mom who had seen me earlier and she gave me one of those lovely sympathetic looks that can undo you entirely, make you dissolve in a second.
And dissolve I did. I made a beeline for the staff bathroom and cried my eyes out. I cried because I was stressed in the first place about challenging his teacher and that I couldn't take away my kid's worry and because I had been gone last week at a conference away from parenthood and because I'm tired. I'm stressed out. I am a mom.
And after I'd wiped my face and tried to look composed, I went to Coen's classroom. There he was at a table with his friends, laughing and talking and... fine. He didn't see me. And I realized, he didn't need me to reassure him. Because of his life and our family...our openness and honesty about emotion...he is already reassured, even when his mommy cries before leaving him at school.
Even then. He is fine. And...whew. So am I.