Friday, November 8, 2013

That Other Girl

I didn’t mean to gloss over the conference I had with Alyssa’s teacher yesterday when I went on and on about Olivia but, well, I wasn’t surprised by what I heard in Alyssa’s class the way I was by what O’s teachers said.

Alyssa is a good, conscientious student. Her teacher wishes she had nineteen more just like her. I’ve heard that every year for the past six years that Alyssa has been in school.

She loves to read, she loves to write, she’s kind to her classmates, even the more annoying ones. She’s got nice friends who make good choices too.

What more could a parent or teacher ask?

Last year her teacher suggested that Alyssa work on her penmanship because it was a little messy. By the end of fourth grade, her writing had improved so much it didn’t even look like the same person’s writing.

Her teacher this year laughed about that saying that sometimes the teachers are encouraged to find at least one thing the student could improve.

This year, though, Miss F decided that Alyssa is doing so well that she just wants her to keep on keeping on. She appreciates all my girl brings to the classroom, both academically and socially. She doesn’t feel the need to give superfluous constructive criticism where there is none warranted.

I appreciated that. Sometimes a kid is just a good kid. I like that about Alyssa.

But I also appreciate that at home, she gets a little rough the edges. She’s safe there, she can branch out and feel her way in this world of emotions and hormones and angst. I am more than willing to deal with all that because it means my sweet Alyssa is comfortable in our home, safe enough to be herself.

Not that I don’t think she’s being herself at school but I remember my school days and there was definitely a school me and a home me.

Alyssa is so much like me that it makes me heart ache sometimes, not in sadness but in that sense that she’s got so much heart, so much depth, so much going for her as she navigates this big wide world.

So, no, there were no surprises at my conference with Alyssa’s teacher. But that definitely doesn’t make me appreciate the goodness of that conference any less than I appreciated what went on at Olivia’s conference.

I couldn’t be prouder of either of my sweet, smart girls.

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