I know there are a lot of people out there who want their children to grow up to be doctors or lawyers or sports stars or just plain old millionaires.  I want my kids to grow up to be happy.  Content.  And not the kind of content that amounts to getting high in someone's basement but the sort of contentment that comes from knowing that they are living their life to the fullest, making the most of their days.  There are really only two things I don't want my children to become: screw ups and the kind of successful adults who sit around and say "I became all this IN SPITE OF how my parents raised me."

The thing with parenting is that 90% of us try to do our best but we never know the fruits of our labor until our children are grown.  And even then it's not always a true reflection on our parenting.  I've known some awesome, kick ass parents who have raised absolute tremendous losers.  And I've known some super shitty, bottom of the barrell type of moms and dads who have churned out cream of the crop kids.  You just never know.

For the 90% of us who are trying to do our best by our children, receiving a little bit of validation every now and then is pretty much the best feeling in the world.  Even if your kid is only five and you still have decades left to screw up his life.

I'm going to sound like a bragging asshole the remainder of this post.  And since I'm already going to sound so assholeish, let me just go on 'head and throw out this gem from Bob Carlisle in Butterfly Kisses: "for all that I've done wrong, I must've done something right."  Isn't that an insanely awesome feeling?  For knowing everything we do wrong . . . in life, in parenting, whatever . . . to have that moment where we know, we have validation, that we did something right, it feels amazing.

I received this kind of validation the other day.  And I totally had a Moment.  Right there in Jaidan's kindergarten class, sitting in a tiny five-year-old sized chair with my knees nearly up to my chin.

You see, Jaidan never went to preschool.  PreK isn't free here and I . . . just . . . couldn't . . . send my kid to preschool when I could do the very same thing right here, at home, for free.  It would've been different if I wasn't home all day.  But I was (am) and paying someone to do what *I* could do just wasn't going to happen.  So when Jaidan began kindergarten, everything he knew was due to . . . me.  That's kind of scary, y'all.  I had every faith in my abilities to prepare him for kindergarten.  BUT there was still that lingering doubt.
At parent teacher conference the other night, Jaidan's teacher went over his beginning of the year testing.  This was the testing done before he even made it into her classroom.  He was exceeding standards in everything.  Everything!  Several times she told me "he came to me this way" and several times I thought I was going to burst into a great big old Farrah style ugly cry right there in the classroom (I might have been a little hormonal.  Just a little).  Nothing - nothing -beats being told you've done right by your kid.  Nothing.  I won't lie to you.  I'm proud of me!  I am !  I'm proud!
But I'm a thousand times more proud of my kid.  He is well behaved in class, loves to learn, and when he's in the classroom he's not in play mode, he's in learn mode.  And that made this Mama's chest swell up with pride.  I know this is only kindergarten and we have a long road ahead of us.  Right now we're dealing with beginning sounds and learning to read.  What lays ahead is scary -- algebra and foreign language and chemistry and I don't even want to think about it.  But, here, in the now, I'm going to soak up this small victory.

And smile when I see my boy so happy to go off to school.  And smile when I see his homework papers with "good job" and "way to go" written on them.  And smile when he comes home rattling off about everything he learned during the day.  And smile when I catch him in his sister's bed at night sounding out the words in books, trying his hardest to read.

For all that I've done wrong, I must've done something right! 
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