When my brother and I went back to his school a few years ago, we couldn’t find the plaque. Dad claimed it was moved during the remodel, my grandmother rolled her eyes. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see my grandmother before she died, because, believe me, if I had, “the plaque” would have come up. And at this point, Dad is sticking to his guns.
Plaque or no plaque, grades mattered to my Dad. A “B” was completely unacceptable. “You will never be a Doctor with a B!”, was my Dad’s favorite line while I was growing up. I guess he was right, because I’m not one today. A fact my Dad still harckens back to my high school math grades.
42 years old and I can still remember the only C I ever got. Math. Algebra. 9th grade. My ears are still ringing from the never ending yelling that ensued!
And as much as you swear you will never be like your parents, one day you are 24 and then the next day, you are them! For this reason, my two oldest literally break into a cold sweat at the thought of a bad grade. And I like it that way.
My third child, however, doesn’t seem to understand the value of grades. He will hand you a set of papers and when you come upon a bad grade and admonish him for it, he is astounded that all the other good grades don’t make up for the one bad one.
“That is the only C in the whole stack! Did you even look at the other grades?!”
I blame myself. And Brody Kane, of course!
Being Neill is our youngest we have coddled him. But it’s not only that, after three kids, we are just plain tired. Honestly, how many times can a person be expected to read “Goodnight Sun, Hello Moon” or sing the ABC song. And apparnetly making his sister, 6 years his senior, do it for us, has had repercussions.
By your third child, agenda books, weekly reports and reading logs mean nothing. If I can just get him to school so he can be counted as present, I consider it a good day!
So this Sunday, as I was perusing his weekly papers (a week late), I came across a bad grade. And when I mean bad, I don’t mean my father’s definition of bad. I mean the kind of grade that makes me think this boy might be living in our upstairs room well into his 40‘s. As usual, I channeled my father as I told him all the things he would never get to do if he kept up these poor grades.
To which #3 responded, “You can’t speak to me like that. That hurts my self-esteem and you are supposed to build me up, not tear me down.”
I paused, completely tacken aback by his Dr. Phil gibberish. Of course, once I gained my composure... I yelled even louder!
I don’t know if my Dad really got that plaque or not, but ironically, in that moment I clearly remembered the plaque I had received due to my outstanding math grades. In my father’s loud voice I told him how it was hung in the hallow halls of my school just like my father’s and grandfather’s before him.
Of course, ... that was before the remodel.
To read more of Angel and Becky’s columns go to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com