We studied for her Science test all week. Every night, we read diligently through that half sheet of facts. And on the way to school this morning, I tried to casually bring facts about graduated cylinders into our conversation. I was confident and a little proud. We studied hard this week for that test. And for her Spelling and for her timed math facts. And this afternoon, we were hardly walking out the door of her school, when I nervously asked, “So, how did the test go?”
And then she looked at me with “those” eyes. And my heart sank. I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but it did. And she knew it and I knew it. Because school is kind of hard sometimes. And grades don’t always reflect effort. And I want so badly for our daughter to figure the whole school thing out. Lately, this Mama’s heart is really struggling with trying to figure out how to help her daughter who is trying so hard.
But in all honesty? I’m realizing that it’s more a “me” issue. And so I feel like I need to give myself “the speech.” That Ellee is just the way that God made her to be. That she is delightful and kind and hard working. And that Science tests should not be the most important question that I ask about on a Friday afternoon. That timed math tests are not cause for tears and that Spelling tests with only two missed words should not be overlooked, because of other tests that did not go so well.
I struggle and I don’t know all of the answers either. But when life hands you lemons, as it often will, you have to make something good. And this afternoon’s something good, came in the form of Ellee’s famous fall pumpkin muffins. We worked together, with Disney’s “Let it Go” Radio station blaring in the background. She read through the recipe, and insisted on doing most of the work herself. So I let her. And I beamed, when she remember some of the trickier words in the recipe.
She carefully filled each baking cup with batter. And we talked math facts and adding and subtracting from our rows of 18. And we delighted in life and in baking together and it was a wonderful afternoon.
Dear Ellee. Your Mama is sorry for forgetting about the important things of life sometimes. Granted, school is important. But we will keep working hard, not for the number grades, but because that’s the kind of people that we want to be. That’s the kind of people that God calls us to be.
And dear girl, we will keep doing the fun things too. Because at the rate you’re going, you may be a champion baker someday. And if nothing else, these are the memories that we will hold close.
Though it feels this way sometimes, I know that I’m not the only mom who struggles. We might not all have the same ones, but we all have our obstacles, and many times, they are heart-tied, hand in hand with our children’s struggles. And my encouragement tonight, is that it’s all going to be okay. We’ll continue to work hard and to have our much needed baking times too. And that overall, sometimes, we just need to refocus. Not on the numbers, but on the fact that life has a bigger picture, and God has great things in store for us and our children.