Parent-teacher conferences were last week, and all things considered, I am happy with where the kids are at.
Race Car Man continues to have areas of concern around his ability to control his reactions, but the biggest issue I see with him is a real streak of craftiness when it comes to getting out of work. I think he sees his hierarchy of needs in very simple terms:
Good: Gaming time
Bad: Anything that interferes with gaming time
You know, like meals and homework and baths and those really awful times when mom bans all electronics and locks the kids OUTSIDE. (I'm only joking. I don't lock them out. At least not after the first 10 minutes.)
What's super frustrating about his report card is how he's testing AT grade level on everything. Except that I know for a fact he's capable of doing math well beyond his grade level and in terms of ability to read he is also beyond his grade level. Reading comprehension may be an entirely different animal, as he just doesn't see the world and human interaction the same way the educational system would like. Still, there weren't any surprises and I am satisfied with that.
I wasn't sure what to expect from Amazon Girl's conference. At our last psych appointment she complained about being distracted a lot in class. She was afraid she wasn't understanding as much math as she is supposed to because she doesn't think she's listening well. I hadn't seen any homework come home that indicated she wasn't understanding, but at the same time, I half expected to walk out of her conference with a referral slip for a math tutor. Much to my happy surprise, Amazon Girl is doing spectacularly well in school. Her teacher thinks she's an absolutely delight, and her art teacher wrote that she is "exceptionally creative" in the comments section of her report card.
This morning when I opened her backpack to put her lunch in it, I noticed at her binder was so full of papers that it could barely be zipped. As I periodically do, I went to work sorting and removing the completed assignments and reviewing her current projects. In doing so, I found a group of study sheets about our presidential elections. One of the sheets asked the students to pretend they were running for president. They were asked questions about what qualities they thought were important for the president to have, who they would choose as their running mate, what their campaign slogan might be, and what planks they would run on.
My daughter, my Amazon Girl, wrote that her primary issue would be to teach people that "Its OK to be gay." She went on to say that people needed to learn that we need to accept each other and our differences and make sure that everyone gets the same chances no matter what.
This is not an issue I've heard her talk about, but its an issue that's been on our televisions and our radios and a subject of adult conversation in our homes this past election season. Washington voters were asked to approve or reject SB 6239 which extended marriage in Washington to include gay and lesbian couples.
My ex and I certainly have our issues, but we both feel very strongly about the rights of all people to be treated with kindness, dignity and compassion. As adoptees under the closed records system, we both have an inkling of what its like to be treated differently because of the way we were born. We are both advocates of equality for all regardless of things like race, gender, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.
When I consider the things I want for my children I would have to say that their happiness tops the list. Beyond that, I don't care if they are doctors or gas station attendants. I don't care if they are gay or straight so long as their relationships are mutually loving, supportive and respectful. While it would be nice if they share my faith, I happily accept that they will form their own beliefs in their own way and their own time. What I DO care is that they grow up with a core value system that includes acceptance, kindness and compassion for other people.
Despite my failings as a person and a parent, my daughter will carry on the mission of grace and love that I consider to be one of the highest callings we as human beings will ever know. I could not be more proud of her than I am at this moment.