Keeping up with The Einsteins

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Have you noticed how our society truly is caught up in this insane comparison trap more than ever? I find myself caught there so often and it’s absolutely miserable. I’m never pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough, fun enough, rich enough, etc. etc. etc. but when I became a mom, it was a whole new ballgame with a new set of “ _______ enoughs” added to the mix. For instance, bless the Pinterest moms who cut out cute critter sandwiches and have all five-food groups in the lunchbox the night before. I’m legit scrounching around at 7:30 AM, realizing we are out of bread so I start looking for a hamburger bun, (don’t you dare act like you don’t know what I’m talking about) only to then realize we are out of deli meat so we’re in the drive through at Chickfila at 7:45 AM, shamefully ordering a kid’s meal to throw in the lunchbox then pulling in to the school on 2 wheels at 8:05 AM. I really long to be one of those “got my stuff together” moms but it’s not who I am and we survive so we have that to pat ourselves on the back for at the end of the day.

One of the hardest parts of being a mom are the comparisons made against your child, and man they start early. “Oh, your baby doesn’t know sign language for, “please pass the kale?” Oh, your baby doesn’t know how to do downward dog in baby yoga? Oh, your baby is bottle-fed? Oh, your kid didn’t have elephant rides at her first birthday party?” Make it stop, make it all stop. This year, we invited 3 friends, grabbed a pizza and an ice cream cake, went to the skating rink and had the time of our lives. It was so freeing not to stress about if every single inch of the birthday party was perfect for people to judge.

When she started school, I started getting sucked in the trap more and more. MC went to k3 and k4 and even then, I realized the same insecurities that I’ve carried around my whole life were surfacing in her and it was so scary. We decided to keep her in private kindergarten to give her another year in a smaller classroom to have more one-on-one attention, build confidence and hopefully be fully ready to enter public school in first grade and while I don’t regret that decision because she had one of the most amazing teachers ever, the curriculum was quite different from public school curriculum and she just wasn’t at the same place academically or maturity as the others entering first grade. We did talk after kindergarten about the possibility of repeating kindergarten in public school but we didn’t know what we were doing as parents, I mean, this was our first rodeo here. We’ve never done this whole parenting thing before and times have changed, this is no 1986 Tift County first grade where we learned our letters and how to write, no, kids these days are learning Calc III and Physics by the age of 6. Real life talk here, if I made report cards, they would have important subjects such as: Common Sense, Understands Sarcasm, Gets Adult Humor, Shows Compassion, Kind-Hearted, Eats the Lunch Their Momma Threw Together, and Knows When to Use Your/You’re. MC would freaking SLAY that report card, all A’s!

We made the wrong call and sent her on to first grade, setting her up for failure from the beginning but unaware of it at the time. First grade was a struggle, and by struggle, I mean, complete nightmare. By Day 2, I was already getting phone calls about how far behind she was. If you’ve ever received those calls, you know how completely devastating they can be, especially if they aren’t given gently and lovingly. Talk about feeling like a failure as a parent… I remember in one of our MANY meetings with the first grade teacher, Matthew saying, “well, she isn’t in Harvard, this is first grade.” I have the utmost respect for teachers and school administrators because they are often caught in that same trap, but on a whole new level having to have certain marks and grades and test scores to be deemed “successful.” Honestly, if MC wasn’t at the greatest elementary school in Greenville County, we probably wouldn’t have survived that year and by “we,” I mean, Matthew and me.

Somehow we made it out of first grade and in to second and here enters the absolute BEST teacher in the world. Like, I contemplated nominating her for Nobel Peace Prize for the category, AWESOME. She was able to create an environment where kids feel safe enough to fail AND excel and it be ok. She loves her kids more than any teacher I’ve known and it was exactly what MC needed. She was a completely different child from the year before, where once she was the child who sat out of first grade “brain breaks” out of fear and shyness to being the craziest and loudest dancer in second grade. I will never in a million years be able to repay her for the love she showed Marli Claire and the grace she showed us. Hearing that another year in second grade would benefit your child doesn’t come easy but it’s whole lot easier to swallow when it’s spoken with love and support.

So, we made the very difficult decision to have MC repeat second grade again this year. Talk about comparison trap… Let’s be honest, no where in the book of Elementary Etiquette can you find what to do in the event of a repeat year. I mean, do you use the same sign in your first day of school pics as last year and just scratch out the year or do you pretend like your forgot to do first day of school pics altogether? Do you tell people or not? What do you do at church when they ask EVERY. SINGLE. SUNDAY. what grade she’s in and she automatically gets nervous. I never ever ever want to embarrass my child, well, more than I already do when I sing outloud in the bathroom of restaurants or when I hold dance parties in the car, you know, other than that, I never want to embarrass her. I want her to know how incredibly brilliant she is and how unbelievably special she is and how much joy she brings, you know, the important stuff in life. If she never memorizes her math facts and has to count on her fingers for the rest of her life or if she never learns which clouds in the sky are Cumulus or Cirrus, it’s going to be ok. She has so much kindness inside her little body and she exudes pure joy and I couldn’t be any prouder of her than Einstein’s parents must have been of him when he developed his theory of Relativity.

I hope I can take my own advice that I give MC, to not care what others think of me in the areas of life that really don’t matter in the big scheme of things anyway. Let’s all do ourselves a huge favor and find a way out of the trap, life will be much more fun.



19 thoughts on “Keeping up with The Einsteins

  1. Jill says:

    Parenting isn’t easy and I do wish there was a handbook! You are doing a wonderful job! We went thru this same situation with J and I haven’t regretted anything. To see my bright boy’s self esteem disappear completely was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to witness. We pulled him out that year to homeschool and repeated 1st grade and slowly over the past few years, his confidence has returned. I have been very honest with him about holding him back to give him extra time to grow and mature and he gets it. We go thru the same thing about what grade he is in but I don’t think it bothers him. Im praying for y’all and I hope you see very quickly that you made a great decision.

    • Delecta says:

      Thank you so much for sharing Jill. I just know we’ve made the right decision and that our kids are going have so much pride being able to answer questions out loud in class this year. I’m proud of you and the way you parent your beautiful kids.

  2. Kara says:

    This!!!! So good!! And btw I think your report card is👌🏼
    Needed to read this! Thanks for your transparency!

  3. Liv Henderson says:

    I love this Blog and you, Delecta!!! It feels good to know that I’m not the only one that has felt these feelings! You make me smile BIG and you seem to be doing an awesome job! ❤️

    • Delecta says:

      Liv, thank you so much for this! Seems like yesterday we were running hills for 2 hours of soccer practice and now look at us, raising crazy girls of our own. Parenting is hard and awesome and scary all at the same time. We can do this thing!

  4. OMG! Can I please stop crying now???!!?? That is the sweetest, most beautiful thing ever! You and Matthew are AMAZING parents to one AMAZING little girl! You have shown her more of this world and have given her more experiences and adventures that probably any child her age has ever or will ever have. MC is the kindest, funniest, sweetest, fun loving child to be around! She has the most beautiful innocence. You and Matthew show her so much love and support and she knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is the center of your world. MC is just perfect…..I wouldn’t change one.single.thing about her! As loving parents you should be so proud of your decision to give her another year to blossom even more. NO ONE has a right to judge, especially when you know you are only doing what is best for your child! Every child is different! Ok, I’ll get off of my soap box now! I can’t wait to watch MC ROCK second grade this year with confidence! I am just across the hall and I will promise you that I will be on guard of “my girl” every single day! I love you all and am so blessed to have gotten to know you three this past year. You will always be “extra” special to me! Oh and……feel free to go ahead with that nomination……we’ll celebrate with dancing and cake one day! Wink,, wink!!!! 🙂

  5. Kelly says:

    Sweet friend- you ARE building her confidence by giving her an extra year to grow and learn with an amazing teacher!!! She will be able to help those around her because she knows the ropes and routine all while grasping a few of those concepts that didn’t click the first time around. Your REAL friends get it and understand and if others keep asking and questioning it… Leave them behind. 😄 Y’all are doing what’s best for you and that’s what matters. Love y’all and your blog. The fact that you can be so real and honest with everyone makes you amazing!!

    • Delecta says:

      Girl, I was JUST thinking about you yesterday. Thank you so much for this. I know my girl is going to KILL second grade this year. Thanks for your encouragement!

  6. Joy Bryan says:

    Delecta for president.

  7. David Bosse says:

    Hey Delecta, your mom did a fine job with few resources on you and you’ll be an even better mom because of her… so obviously you have nothing to stress about. BUT I really can see you rushing thru the drive in at Chik to grab a quick school lunch… EAT MORE CHICKEN! Love your blog and this episode.

  8. Jaci Bryan says:

    Oh Delecta you have me questioning my decision once again, lol! Emmalyn is attending Northside Baptist for kindergarten and they only go until 12:30pm, so half days. I have been struggling if I should have put her in public school just for multiple reasons. One being this……the curriculum. While I know north wide goes off public school curriculum I just don’t know if they have enough time in their half day to teach what all they will need to be successful in the first grade. Then my other concern was, she just turned five July 20th. So she is a young five. Do we put her in public school where it’s an extremely long day of being there until 3pm or do we just let her stay at Northside this year and make her repeat kindergarten next year or do we just hope and pray she is ready and keep her at Northside and let her start first grade next year. Parenting is no fun, lol. I am so terrified we are gonna make the wrong decision and it affect her later and feeling like we failed her!!!!!! I just don’t know what to do.

    • Delecta says:

      Jaci, I totally get it! I can’t imagine a better place for her right now than Northside Baptist because she will be soooo loved there. I would just see where she’s at towards the end of Kindergarten and if her teacher thinks she’ll be fine moving on to first grade then I would trust that. You started working with her so early and she was already picking up so much I remember at an early age so I think she will fly through kindergarten. You’re doing a great job!

  9. I read this the other day when I was waiting for Aiden’s bus to arrive from school and I am just now sitting down to respond because…. #momlife.
    I always knew I felt something kindred with MC and this is proof. This story is very closely related to my life experience in 1st grade. I had to repeat 1st grade due to a teacher who could care less and was flunking me. 1st grade! How do you flunk?? My mom knew I was brighter. I had started reading early and tested highly before I started school, but somehow, that first year in first grade, I wasn’t the girl she knew I was.
    I had to repeat the first grade and it was a very rough year. I had friends from my previous class laugh and point at me. I felt like I was being treated like a baby. However my mom tried to tell me all the cool things that would happen when I was older. I would get to drive before my friends because I would be older, etc.
    Sometimes her encouragement helped, sometimes it didn’t. But the point is, my mom was my biggest cheerleader. She wanted me to succeed in school and she knew this was the way for me to get a good foundation early on.
    I excelled greatly the rest of my academic career. My drive to get my Masters degree stemmed from this event. I wanted to prove it to myself and that teacher that didn’t believe in me.
    MC is so lucky to have you as her cheerleader. The rest of her life is going to be set up so amazingly because of this sacrifice. Way to go MOM! You are the best! Love you gals!

    • Delecta says:

      Thank you so much for sharing Krystal! I just know we’ve made the right decision as your mom did and I just think, “look how well you turned out!” I mean, you’re a rockstar, getting things done in DC and I know that my girl will be just as strong and smart and wise and all of the great things I already see in her. Thank you soooo much for this!

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