The day of reckoning, report cards, and rationalizing.
Evan brought home her report card yesterday. The first of many and quite likely the best one she’ll ever receive. Knowing that it’s possible this is the only time a teacher will describe her as a “delight” I should probably do something really special with the evidence. I should frame it. Or put it in a time capsule. Freeze it? Yeah, I should probably frame it inside a frozen time capsule and then have an image of it tattoo’d on my arm for reference. Instead it sits on the counter and I glare at it every time I walk past.
Twenty or so areas she is evaluated on and all I can look at are the three she is struggling with. A sea of successes and yet I can’t bring myself to stop staring at the selective challenges. According to the report card, according to my motherly intuition, and according to every person who has ever met this child… the kid can’t focus on anything, she can’t follow directions (or chooses not to) and the kid can’t share even if her life depended on it.
A little voice inside my head tells me that maybe those are just kid things. Maybe even more accurately those are age appropriate kindergarten things to be struggling with. Okay, so that voice inside my head was actually Mike telling me those things, but I wanted to take credit for it. The voice inside my head tells me very different things. The voice inside my head squeaks with trepidation and cracks with uncertainty. It worries that Evan will never be able to overcome these things. It considers that these are areas that even the librarianest of my abilities can’t help with. It’s terrified that it will prevent people from knowing, witnessing, and cherishing Evan.
I joke about my kids being bad a lot. It’s not actually a joke because they are in fact quite bad. But at the same time it is a joke because they are not truly bad. They are actually quite brilliant. In every sense of the word. The angst I spend worrying about their behavior has little to do with me thinking they need to change (not counting peeing on the floor, fist fighting and writing on walls… that needs to change ASAP) and everything to do with me worrying that people will never see beyond their tuff demeanor and foul mouths.
Mostly, I worry that things will be difficult for them, particularly Evan, if she can’t find a way to calm her mind down a bit. I worry because I know what it’s like to feel like a puzzle piece made up of four edges. Nothing to click onto. Nothing to weigh you down. You float by yourself surrounded by things that fit together so seamlessly. I want her to feel grounded and to find a way to connect. I want her to be able to add her piece to whatever puzzle she chooses to be a part of.
I told Evan I was proud of her for trying hard in school and learning a lot of new things. I wish I would have told her much more. I wish I could explain to her that someday her mind will make sense. Maybe not to anyone else, but at least to her. Someday she will find a way to slow it down, or at least organize it into compartments. She will sit down and write until it finds its way, like I do. Or maybe she’ll play music until her mind is spinning so fast it can’t even consider objecting to what she wants it to think about. Maybe she’ll beat her mind into submission by pounding through the miles I wish could produce. Whatever it is, I’m sure she’ll find a way.
Probably what I need to do, what I always need to do but never seem to successfully do, is nothing. I need to let Evan be Evan and let the world experience all of that. Even more difficult, I need to let Evan figure out what it is that will work for her. What will spark a fire inside that beautiful head of hers. What will motivate her to want to focus, cooperate and share. I need to trust that people will receive her, cherish her, and value her just like I do. And the world needs to trust that if they don’t, likely her and her sister will punch them in the face.
It must be so hard as a parent of Evan’s age to figure out the balance between letting a child free and letting a parent loose. I cannot even imagine the questions that would go through my mind. You will all find your way, and you will find your way together, as a family of individuals and as a family unit. You are a beautiful mother, and because of your insight, your children will prosper beyond report cards.
And I love that sisters will break noses together and for each other. That is good parenting 🙂
Thank you so much for reading Fonda, and for your beautiful words. It’s strange how difficult it is to sometimes separate our own rational thoughts (ie. report cards don’t really matter) from the ones we sometimes gut react to (ie. my child will never be successful because she can’t focus in Kindergarten). But you are right. A report card is in now way defining where this bright girl will go!
My “report card” at that age was much worse. In fact, I repeated 1st grade because I wasn’t socially ready to move on. It didn’t matter. I turned out fine.
I know Evan will too. She’s got a great mama who stays up thinking about her. Thats more than a lot of kids already.
Plus, her dad is a huge Bears fan with a gigantic mohawk. He’s like a walking “show and tell” item for her.
This might be one of my favorite blog comments ever. 😉 Thank you Seth.
Megan, I know why you worry, because I have done it constantly for about 20 years now. Here’s what I’ve learned: You have nothing to worry about. You’re a fantastic mother. Evan has two brilliant parents, and bunches of people who love her. She’s obviously going to do whatever the hell she wants in life. Our job, as parents, is to provide an environment safe and loving enough for our children to figure out how to become who they are. They do the rest all by themselves. ❤
I hope I’m as wise as you are through this journey called parenting. ❤
Comments from facebook (I post these so the girls will have a record down the road if they ever read these).
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Karen Rush-Wilson, Jessica Flynn and 2 others like this.
Claire Dahlquist this is beautiful megan.
Wednesday at 9:53pm · Like
Ryan Pfleger Wow. You said that very well. I have a lot of the same thoughts about my kids, Toby particularly. Don’t sweat it too much. People will “get” her… and if not, then maybe they deserved the punch in the face!
Wednesday at 10:09pm · Like
Audrey Mitchell I have loved you for a long time and I think I just fell in love with you again. ♥
Wednesday at 10:16pm · Like
Jessica Flynn I love this so very very much. And – have fallen in love with Evan as well – cant wait to meet her 🙂
Wednesday at 10:17pm · Like
Anne Egbert You are such a good mommy, and thanks to your wonderful blogs, at some point in her life, Evan will know what you dream for her.
Thursday at 2:51am · Like
Erin DeHaven Maybe boxing lessons will help?
Thursday at 6:05am · Like
Megan Egbert Claire Dahlquist Thank you ♥ Ryan Pfleger I’m pretty sure Evan and Toby are from the same mold. If they ever got together, we’d all be in trouble. Audrey Mitchell Love you right back! It’s been far too long. Jessica Flynn I know Evan would love you right back! You guys could get in some serious trouble. Anne Egbert Love you mama. Erin DeHaven You’re a gansta. I bet you could help her with that!
Thursday at 8:45am · Like
Joyce Jansen Moore I’ve been sharing your blog with my daughter who also has two young children. You two have a lot in common and like me, she is enjoying your perspective on parenthood.
Yesterday at 1:14pm · Unlike · 1
I have seen children like Evan change into exciting energetic kids with the ability to control their actions. Have a look at http://www.eeginfo.com You won’t lose your beautiful daughter to drugs that make her someone else. You just might see the beautiful light that is Evan.
Thank you Lindy. Those words mean a lot to me. I completely agree that she will find a way to peacefully shine on, medication free!