Friday, May 6, 2011

It's getting to be that time of year again...

The public/private schools are coming to a close. Shutting down for summer break. The parks and libraries are going to become over crowded for the duration of the summer. Parents will be trying to cram all those things they wish they could do the rest of the year, into just a few weeks. We'll be staying home more, avoiding the hordes of people. I like the quiet, calm of an empty weekday park, and I'll miss it until August.

Lately several of my friends with kids in public schools have been boasting about their child's achievements. Honor roll awards; reading and math awards; attendance awards; behavior awards. Awards aplenty. I admit I felt a slight pang of regret as I realized my boys will never receive such an award. They will never feel that moment of pride, standing in front of their entire class, grasping that piece of paper. (Nor will they ever feel the sting of humiliation of having not won an award, when all their friends have.) After all, those types of arbitrary achievements were a large part of my own childhood. I can't tell you how many honor roll awards I racked up in school.

But after allowing myself to feel regret, I moved past it to look at the bigger picture. It's not as though my boys never have moments they can be proud of. Every time they finish a project, or master a new skill, they beam with pride. As they grow and delve into more difficult areas of study, they will have opportunities to win real awards, that actually have meaning. School is not the only place to achieve success. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that.

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