Something had to change. Our days were beginning horribly. Dragging feet, whining words, a raised voice, tears. Oh, not for the first wondrous month of first grade. For the first month the bad moods escalated after the bus brought you back home. You were tired, worn out, missing me. Once we got the afternoons under control, the mornings started to fall apart.
The magic of first grade and the yellow school bus and being Maggie's bus partner had worn off. School and the school routine were no longer a novelty, instead they had started to become a flash point for bad moods, rushed words, unnecessary tears.
So bedtime is earlier (for both of us) and wake up time is earlier (for both of us) and the tears and yelling and incredible frustration of weekday mornings are beginning to ebb.
Last night we met with your teacher for our first official parent teacher conference. Your teacher had only good things to report - you are hard worker, you listen well, you are kind to others. Her worry? That you are too hard on yourself, you get upset when you make the littlest mistake in reading, writing or math. She wants you to learn to go with the flow. While listening to her I realized that you are not the only one who has is hard on you - I am too.
I want so much for you. I want you to always do your best and to have high standards. I want you to shine. But maybe I put too much pressure on you to always be on your best behavior, to remember your math facts, to read each word correctly, to play hard in soccer, to write your "e" they way your teacher has shown you.
I need to let you have your own little space to not be perfect. To have a bad day. To do a sloppy copy. To forget the answer. To be six.
Because six is hard and wonderful, frustratingly sweet. Each day you rush off the bus and run to me arms stretched out, reaching for hug. In that moment I am reminded that you are little, and you only will be for just a fleeting moment You are still figuring it all out. You will make mistakes, and fail, and learn how to keep trying; just like I do every single day as your mother.