Monday, October 11, 2010

Some Really Good News

So, we go to our mandatory meeting with little one's fourth grade teacher. Right in the middle of my day...not really looking forward to it because I have nothing to big problems. She doesn't really LIKE school...but she excels at it.

Beyond her Mommy's and my wildest dreams, little one is a natural in school. She makes straight A's with ease. She earns frequent honors for reading, singing, acting, drawing, etc. You know, the things I wish I had been for my parents, she is for me (not fair really...for my parents).

So we get in there, and the teacher who seemed so gruff and distant to little one at the beginning of the year started gushing.

Now, I've blown my share of smoke in my day. You know, gotta paint kids in the best light for parents. But this teacher knew we already knew our daughter. She gave us real feedback about her strengths beyond her natural intellectual gifts.

I learned that Dora is a nurturer...helping her friends when they fall behind. I learned that she is practical, ready with plenty of questions. I learned that she is a little "less mature" than her peers. (Thank God...literally. She'll have plenty of time to be "mature" when she gets older.)

Above all, I learned that, though I know I have a great kid...that other people think so too.

I'd like to take credit (and secretly, let's face it, I do). But what I know is that Dora's mother and I have been blessed with a beautiful, precious, fragile, wonderful gift when what we really "deserved" was nothing.

Thanks God.


  1. I often look at my brood,And try to figure out just why God thought I was so worthy.Or,how is it that I managed to created these most amazing children.Some grown and some still works in progress.But all,blow my mind daily.

    Are we not so blessed and lucky?

  2. Now WAIT a second...I need to point out a bit of a contradiction here. You know I love you Richard, but you can't have it both ways.

    If you secretly take credit, and you say it right there, that you do ( keep secrets from your Lord! SHAME!)...then how can the strengths and behavior that YOU have taught your daughter, by example and how you have raised her, be a 'gift' from God, when in fact, you take the credit for it?

    Now, I'm not saying that you should not, in fact, I think you should, you know where I stand on that. In fact, and I know I piss you off, but you DESERVE the credit, not God, for who your daughter is. God may have written your guidelines, but you did the work.

    See a gift is 'the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return'. That's not what having a child actually is, is it? When we have a child, there ARE expectations placed upon us, as parents of that child, and rightfully so, therefore, I don't see that a child can be considered a gift.

    There are expectations that we love the child, teach the child, let no harm come to the child, etc., etc. To me, that is not really a gift, it's...something else. you're thinking...I just thanked this guy a blog ago for being such a great lifelong friend? What an A-HOLE.

  3. Nope. I'm remembering the argument we had in 8th grade about whether or not a bird was a mammal. (You were on the right side of that argument as I recall.)

    I certainly agree with your point that Delma and I had overwhelming influence over many of the values, esteem, and confidence Dora possesses. You can't be a self-respecting practitioner of psychology without acting on what we know about how to raise a child...not to mention, I'm her biggest fan.

    I take as much pride as the next parent (and more) in watching her excel as that is a reflection of her Mother and I. (And I'll of course take it quite hard when she occasionally fails...struggling with self-blame and wondering where I went wrong.)

    I agree also with your definition of "gift." Whether with attachments (expectations) or not though, a gift is something given as an expression of love. It is something given me that I have not earned. I do believe that children are a gift from God for the joy they bring, and for their power to change our lives for the better. Yes, with this gift comes incredible responsibility.

    Do I believe that God only gives children to those who will meet that responsibility? I would be a fool to say that. Does that challenge my faith, knowing what some people do to their children? Certainly, takes it into the red zone. Does that negate the gift? Not to me. Children are what they are: bringers of joy, and tears, and terror; and life changers.

    Do I believe that God selected the particular “soul” which Dora Diane possesses for us? I would like to. That is a “pretty” and romantic thought. Intellectually and practically, I lean away from that and figure it’s pretty up to the sperm and egg to get it done. But…I’ve been wrong before.

  4. Nope, you didn't give this your all must have been in the middle of dinner or getting something done fast to get ready for American Idol or another one of your feminine shows you like.

    This is NOT your strongest argument in support of your supposition, NOT the knock-out punch I know you are capable of delivering. I know you, and I know you are capable of more.

    Maybe it's cigar day, and you were jonesing, but you can make a better case for why I am wrong.

    You don't have to give me the counter-punch today, but I expect one, and better than this. Because the according to the judge's score card I am still winning this bout, and unless you deliver that killer knock-out blow I know is somewhere buried deep in that sharp as a tack melon of yours I'm gonna be declared the winner when the bell rings.

    So NYAH NYAH Poopy-Pants!

  5. counter my rebuttal with a declaration that I did not respond well enough without even restating your point or identifying the weakness in my arguments...hmmm.

    Well, Friday is coming...

  6. Why should I have to do that? I just felt a little breeze by my left cheek. You were, weak...hitting like a girl. I'm supposed to take advantage of you when you're like that? Now...what kind of friend would I really be if I was did something so horrible?

  7. Yikes! Big words from some kinda big guys! You both crack me up--but what I wanted to comment on was the blog itself--I want to say that I absolutely, categorically think you and Delma have to take credit for Dora Diane. I have watched almost all of my friends raise their children, and many of them are fantastic parents with lovely children. But not one of them comes close to being the parents you are--not one father in the bunch behaves the way you do or has the relationship with his daughter that you do. That is a tribute to you and your incredible intellect, and your heart, and your strong beliefs. Dora is a miracle! She really is! But she would not be the amazing person she is without you in her life. You make her who she is. FOR SURE! Even in her own words, she is "Daddy's Girl" I don't think you have the perspective to see what an exceptional parent you are. Plus, your modesty/humility prevents you from seeing how truly exceptional you are. Dora is a living, breathing, mirror image of you! She loves cold because you love cold, she loves blue because you love blue, she plays video games because Daddy loves video games, and her heart is pure because her Mommy and Daddy have modeled that for her. She nurtures because she is nurtured, she questions because her Daddy questions her and makes her think! So, yes, Dora is who she is BECAUSE OF YOU!

  8. Now when your own sister steps in and has both our backs in that way of hers, I think that pretty much shuts down the debate.

    How bout this Internet thing though, huh? All we need is three actual human bodies, some Lemonade, Cheetos and a Dark Tower game and it's a Saturday Night sleepover in 1982 at your house all over again.

    Without the intellectual conversation, stinging losses we've all suffered and kids with lifelong disabilities, of course.

    But...we cherish the good and try to make sense of the not so good, don't we?'s threads like this that make me glad you keep this blog of yours alive, brutha.

  9. I do agree. I'm not avoiding your earlier thoughts though...just busy with grading, moving (our offices) and other stuff. Oh, and Fallout New Vegas!!

  10. I haven't played the Fallout series...I am however looking forward to Tuesday's DLC of Undead Nightmare for Red Dead Redemption. Westerns and Zombies. THAT IS AN AWESOME MIX.