Daily Archives: April 12, 2013

The parent as overachiever

Last week, my daughter’s school held an information evening for the parents of rising high schoolers to explain how the next four years of course scheduling will work. Having already sent one child through the same school, I remembered enough from her older brother’s time there to know the process is long, and way more complicated than it seems. The Dutchman and I decided a refresher course wouldn’t be a bad idea.

After the presentation, when the time came for Q & A, a frizzy-haired woman a few rows up raised her hand. “My daughter is very talented in the visual arts, and I’m worried her schedule may lean a little too heavy in that direction.”

overachieverThe Dutchman and I exchanged a look. Was there a question in there somewhere? The Principal handled her non-question like a pro.

A few moments later, her hand jutted into the air again. “Is there any way my daughter can exempt from the 9th and 10th grade English courses and go straight into the upper levels and APs?”

The Dutchman and I lifted a brow. Talented and brilliant, wow.

By now, people around us were exchanging looks, as well. I doubt any of them were surprised when the woman took the floor yet again.

“How do I go about getting my daughter in AP statistics her freshman year?” she said. “Because blah-blah-blah-blah-blah…”

This was the moment I stopped listening, and began wishing they served wine at these things. Honestly, lady with the frizzy hair, is your daughter truly that amazing or are you just trying to impress us? Because right now I’m kinda the opposite of impressed. I’m kinda feeling sorry for you both.

So let me tell you a little about my daughter. My daughter likes to paint and draw and sculpt, too, and some of her stuff isn’t half bad. My daughter is a voracious reader, but only if Dance Moms isn’t on TV and none of her friends are on Facebook. My daughter tolerates math and science but just barely, and thank God for her tutor because I’m not a big fan of those subjects, either. The grades my daughter brings home are perfectly adequate.

But she’s smart and funny and talented and pretty and kind. She’s well-adjusted and well-rounded. She sings, loudly and almost always on key, in the car and in the shower, and she can spike a mean volleyball. But most importantly, she’s happy.

And isn’t that what we should be bragging about?

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