Bringing Up Grades and Pespective

6 Feb

I’m a terrible mother. Jackson had an awards assembly this morning at school. I realized at 7:42. The assembly started at 8.

Pretty much, I threw on some clothes, shoes and foundation and ran out the door. I put some lipstick on while speeding to his school.

I got there just in time. His assembly was for kindergarten and first grade, so I got to see him file in. He was the first kid in line (Bensten – it has its perks) and I could see him searching the cafeteria for anyone he knew. I could tell he wasn’t expecting me there because we hadn’t even discussed it. I started waving and he found me. I got a small smile but I can tell he was disappointed it was just me.

But it was just me. Because I forgot and didn’t have time to tell anyone.

I’ve been busy this week with their extra VIP requirements. Busy is not a good word. Buried. Suffocated. Drowning? Overwhelmed would be more accurate. Let’s just say I’ve been pulled in one too many directions and I’ve been utilizing a lot of deep breathing. I’ve been dealing with hearing aids and FM sytems and physical therapy issues; social workers and receptionists and nurses and doctors and specialists and therapists and coordinators. All while working and all while being a mom. I’ve been so damn buried this week, that I forgot his very normal, very NON-VIP awards assembly.

All this extra stuff — he has no idea about it. He doesn’t know all the stress I go through for him. He just wants to know if we can pull through Dunkin’ Donuts on the way to the 8am appt.

So if he had searched that room and not found anymore, that would have mattered. That would be the stuff he remembers. And Jackson…he remembers everything.

Jackson’s name was the first to be called. What award did he win? The “Bringing Up Grades” award. Not academic achievement or perfect attendance. They didn’t recognize Citizen of the Month – which he got last Friday. So I clapped and I took a video and pictures, and wondered if this was a fake award. I wondered if this was the award they gave kids who wouldn’t receive an award otherwise. I’m ashamed to say I was a little embarrassed. But I smiled and clapped and gave him the thumbs up sign when he saw me.


After it was over, I got to the car and back to the VIP Mommy grind. I saw the CHKD education coordinator had called me. I called her back and told her I’m sorry I’d missed her call. I was at Jackson’s awards ceremony. She was excited and asked what he got. So I told her he got an awards for bringing up his grades. She was so thrilled. She said she absolutely loved that the school knew how important an award like that was. That some kids have it easy and don’t ever work for their Honor Roll. They just get an Academic Achievement Award and never really know why it’s important. But an award like the one Jackson got recognizes hard work. Really hard work.

And you know what? It has been really hard work. I finished my conversation with her, promising child study info and 504 paperwork and audiology exams and school reporting. Wrote down fax numbers and emails and next steps.

And I’ve been crying ever since. It takes a lot to break me into tears. I feel absolutely terrible for writing off Jackson’s achievements like they weren’t good enough. They are. In fact, his award was even better than any of those other ones. It’s just sometimes, this is hard for Mommy, too. I want it to be easy for him. It’s not.

So the achievement is in the journey, in the climb, and not so much finally being on top of the mountain. I am so proud of you.

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