The Report Card

One sweltering afternoon, on our way home from preschool, my daughter fished furiously through her princess backpack and hooked a small yellow envelope. Tucked neatly inside was her first report card. Eagerly, I scanned over Abby’s first evaluation. It seems as though she is learning right on schedule. My little lady scored perfectly on everything with buttoning as well as touching objects in the bathroom listed as her only shortcomings.

I pulled into our driveway beaming with pride for my girl. Abby, enveloped in her four year old freedom, was oblivious to the significance of her first report card. She just wanted to take off running to her favorite spot in the garden the instant her size tens hit the grass in the front yard.

I’m thankful for the blissful lack of awareness that God shows me when I see the world, and even report cards, through the eyes of my children. Although, I must admit, I have since wondered what my mommy report card would reveal. Perhaps it would read something like this:

Attendance- A++ Absolutely outstanding, in fact, she has yet to miss a day!

History- A – Student has been witness to and can instantly recall each and every significant moment in her subjects’ lives.

Math- C minus- Student admits to being in a store and actually using the ‘math for dummies’ sales sign which breaks down precisely what 15% off means since delivering second child. Also, she can still be observed counting on her fingers on occasion.

Language Arts- A – Student has volunteered to author mounds of manuscript dating all the way back to early 2000.

Science- B- Just last week, student was observed forgetting that moisture evaporates from chicken when left unattended on a stove at high temperatures.

American Government- A – Student offers her children the short course in democracy and intends to march them to the voting booth on Election Day.

Physical Education- B – Student remains a sure-bet when challenging her children to a foot race; however, she has been steadily adding extra “leg cushion”.

Art- C – Student admits that she is inferior to her protégés when it comes to the mastery of a Magna Doodle.

Spanish- C – Student, however, claims that with the assistance of a tutor by the name of Dora the Explorer’s help she is determined to improve.

Humanities- B – Student is currently involved in a “crash course” immersion study of the civilization of preschool siblings.

Psychology- A – Student is entrenched in a world of healing wounded feelings and deciphering justifications for unruly behavior through hysterical crying.

Legal Studies- C – Student observed informing her children, “That is the rule…because I’m the boss, applesauce.”

Home Economics- No grade available – Student refused to enroll in this course adding, “Are you kidding me? I could teach this thing!”

That is precisely how I would imagine my report card; fairly well-rounded with some areas in need of improvement. Of course, I don’t receive a report card nor do I answer to a grading system. I have no tangible accolades or plaques of excellence. I have something even more magical. I have the seal of approval issued by the members of my family. I have the priceless memory of looking into the backseat of the van and watching the words, “You rock, Mommy” move straight from my daughter’s lips to my heart. I have a little man who is convinced that his mother is the most amazing woman in the world. I have that internal mommy smile and sigh of relief each time my children behave in public or we make it through a store stroller-free and do not break a single thing. I have the privilege of charting the path of my children’s years and always being there to catch them when they fall just to dust them off and send them running back to try it again. The education that I am
receiving has been the toughest and most rewarding curriculum of my life. And, as my youngest child enters kindergarten, I will graduate with a PhD. in ‘we made it to big kid school’. No degree will adorn my wall, none is needed. At the end of my commencement walk I will be greeted with a thumbs-up by my two favorite little people.

Sarah Kelly

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