small triumphs


A small triumph for this week.

I had to fill out a “Hopes and Dreams” sheet for Opie’s teacher. An annual ritual, it asks a bunch of questions about what you, the parent, are thinking of for the coming year for your child. The kids usually read the sheet on the way to school, so you have to be careful about what you write and how you phrase it. But it can also be an opportunity to make them think.

In hopes of encouraging a self-view that includes herself as a musician, under Likes I put down “playing around with piano and oboe,” tucked away after gymnastics and reading. And under Strengths I wrote “works hard at oboe.”

The other reason I listed them is because they are true.

The triumph is that she didn’t protest about those.

Last year I put down “likes math,” because on multiple occasions she has asked me to print out extra worksheets for her to do — and what’s a mom to think? But this was not received well.

This year I was a little sneaky. I put down the things I hoped she would see. Then, under Goals, I also suggested that perhaps she could widen her group of friends, maybe even make friends with some boys. I knew full well that this was unlikely to fly. And the complaints started as soon as she read what I was sending in to the teacher. Boys?! Friends?! Ha!

But music passed.

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