The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008


A New School Year Better Than The One That Came Before It

Tomorrow begins second grade for my daughter.

This is a big milestone.

It marks for the first time, in at least five years, that I may feel comfortable about her schooling.

I didn’t care for her preschool. I felt the director showed too much favoritism toward “special” students – mostly the ones whose parents contributed additional money.

I stayed because Mimi’s friends were in the school and I was good friends with their parents. Mimi had no idea of what I was experiencing. She was treated well and had lots of fun.

In kindergarten I choose a K/1 class for her because it seemed so much brighter and happier than the other classes. I emphasized to the teachers that I was not an uber-mother, and though she seemed bright, that was not yet apparent to me.

It seems it was never was apparent to them, either. She got “labeled” as being one of the slowest readers and writers in her class.

I tried volunteering for things others parents didn’t want to do like making copies, though I don’t know how to make them and I have a history of breaking copying machines. I broke two at her school. Within minutes of each other.

I learned that the yellow dot on her papers meant that she was in the slowest group. This I discovered while I was teaching her and her fellow students how to read.

Finally, I told her teachers about my health issues and they said it probably affected her emotionally, hence her falling behind. My worst and guiltiest fear. Mimi was in a class with kids reading chapters books while she could barely make out Dr. Seuss. If only I had been more emotionally available to her. . . 

But now Mimi has a wonderful second grade teacher. I met the woman and she told me she can sometimes be scattered, but she always knows what she’s doing.

I liked her immediately. She’s not too strict. One of Mimi’s best friends since the age of three is in her class, that friend’s friends are in there, too, and Mimi knows nearly half the other kids who were in her genius class. So she will be comfortable.

I was a quiet child who became a talkative adult. Mimi is a talkative kid. She’ll speak to anybody of any age, any gender, about anything.

While she is not fond of homework, she has caught up. She can do it. 

In the genius class Mimi was not a child who had a lot of play dates.

I was always amazed at how hard other mothers worked it to ensure their kids had something going on with the other kids all the time.

I have to also admit that given my health issues, I was surprised more mothers didn’t offer to help and include Mimi on play dates. I’m no Lady Godiva, but I know what’s important.  I’m not sorry for me, but I am for my daughter that more mothers did not reach out to her through their children.

I think if the class had been a regular one with only 20 kids instead of 40, perhaps more offers would have been forthcoming. People knew my situation.  News travels fast in school.

That’s why I’m so happy about Mimi’s new class. The teacher rocks! She already has friends. I’m going to volunteer to read or come up with creative games that the  kids can play twice a month.

I feel like it is a new beginning for Mimi and for me. I feel as if our baggage has been left behind.

I’m even going to attend the coffee social in the morning though I have to rush home to do interviews and get an article written before one when I have to pick Mimi up.

I have no doubt there will be tons of play dates already lined up. But I’m bringing my appointment book, a pen and will be ready to start arranging play dates for her.

More than anything, I hope she enjoys school, loves to learn, reaches her potential, and makes good friends.

Though she’s starting second grade, it’s as though she’s beginning school anew. With new beginnings come wonderful opportunities.

This is going to be a fabulous year.

By Dawn Yun

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Good attitude! I am sure your positive outlook will help Mimi even more to have a wonderful year.

Keep in mind that kids start making their own friends at this age and all those moms who have tried to micromanage their kids' social lives are going to be shocked when their little darlings no longer want to hang out with mommy's friends' kids or go to piano, ballet, tap, and gymnastics every single afternoon and just chill with the "regular" neighborhood kids.

Good for you for helping your daughter be herself!

Have a great year.
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