Tonight I can't sleep and I feel this need to share, vent or reflect. I use to turn to my journal when I was feeling this way, but I can't seem to figure out where I last left it...so my blog will have to do. There are times in my life when I wish I could replay a specific reaction or thing I said to one of my children. I'm so fearful that with that one event I may have impacted my child in such a negative way that it will form the adult they will become. Sometimes those "errors in judgement" are small and other times are big. Sometimes I'm pretty sure my kids would have labeled my error in judgement as one of those times, but I think often times I'm probably much harder on myself then I probably should be.
Case in point....tonight my daughter was invited to attend the Jr. High Awards Night. Only those kids that were going to be awarded for good grades, citizenship or teacher nominations for department awards. Emma figured her award would be for her grades and she was correct...there was her name under the "High Honors" category. Here's the proof too...
Now doesn't she rock!! The greatest part about my daughter is I don't have to push her, nag her or even bug her about keeping up. She does it all on her own. She also continues to excel at her piano (star student there) and she learned how to play flute this year and already participated in her first band concert!
Okay back to that "moment"...the time when my parenting skills would need to re-evaluated and I would forever question if I should have done something different. So during the awards presentations, Emma is obviously a bit nervous about whether or not they'll have her come up to the front to receive her certificate or not. They finally get to the part in the night when your butt hurts and you're wishing they would hurry and the principal announces that they're going to have all students with the last names that begin with A-C go the curtained area of the gym and they'll be lined up. They'll then be announced and more or less presented to the audience where they'll walk forward to shake the administration's hands and then receive their certificate. I think my daughter figured out at that point that she would be announced FOURTH. All of a sudden she giggled and told me and my husband that she "did not want to go up there." We kindly prodded her and encouraged her to hurry and go get in line and then she looked a bit panicked and continued to say how she didn't want to. HERE'S THE MOMENT....my husband and I started to get a little upset and the kind, loving prodding became more intense and turned into us trying to "order" her to get her butt up there. We're not so good at the tough love though and she's a stubborn girl. Pretty soon the panic in her eyes turned to tears and frustration...I think my eyes also filled with tears and I'm sure it was obvious how "disappointed" I was (and my husband)...she could tell and the whole night went south. We all sat there upset, not wanting to be there and the awards night continued on with all three of us mad for one reason or another. Luckily the length of the presentations gave us all time to calm down.
My husband and I tried to be loving and kind...it was tough and my daughter wasn't looking encouraged or maybe not even loved. Yes we tried to console her and tell her better luck next time, but then we continued to say things that just made her more upset. Forced hugs are still hugs, but she just wanted to be left alone. What could I have done differently? What did I miss when she was younger that makes it so hard for her to get up in front of everyone...sometimes? I think more then anything I wish I could have taken back the moment when she "knew her parents were disappointed in her." It was suppose to be a night celebrating her accomplishments and showing her how PROUD we were of her and it didn't end up that way at all. So no "mother of the year" award for me today!
Being a parent is hard and we are all learning how to do it as we go along. I'm sure your daughter knows you love her. The fact that you are stewing over what you could have done better proves that you want what's best for her. We just don't always know what that is right at the right moment. Because, no matter how hard we try, no one is perfect. You sound like a wonderful mother to me.
Thank you Sandra!
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