I was so angry this afternoon after I received an email from one of Piper's teachers indicating that she needed to attend school and finish her assignments.
We had already had a discussion about how many classes she had missed this year, most of them due to the fact that she has suffered from extreme migraines and had trouble acclimatizing to Southern Alberta's strong winds.
With the last few days of school looming, I stressed to her the importance of attending her classes.
It's really hard for me to monitor her going to school as I am at work between 5:00 am and 6:30 am depending on the day.
I go on blind faith in her that she is being responsible and going to school.
Apparently, that's not good enough!
After receiving the email from her teacher asking me to encourage Piper to attend her classes, I felt so embarrassed.
I felt like I was a terrible parent who just let her child do whatever and didn't care one way or another.
I felt ashamed and like I was a failure as a parent.
If only I didn't work so early.
But then, if I didn't work early, I'd work late and wouldn't be home for her or able to attend her sports games or band concerts, or attend anything the boys did either.
By the time I got home, I was angry and resentful.
I thought of all the ways I could punish Piper.
I even googled for ideas because I'm terrible at punishments.
As I sat down at the computer, I felt the need to write her a letter instead.
In less than five minutes, I wrote her the following letter:
I don't know what else to do or say to emphasize what a huge importance Education is.
School isn't an option.
You Have To Attend.
Let's talk about attendance.
Aside from the physical aspect (which I've been hounding at since the middle of your first semester) simply showing up isn't good enough.
In elementary school, you may have been able to skate by doing the bare minimum work because let's face it, learning the rudimentary basics is a lot easier than learning the specifics.
These last years in high school are so important.
Not in the “These are going to be the BEST DAYS of your life” sense but in the,
“Dude, outside of these walls is REAL LIFE and you're going to have to face it soon.” sense.
Simply showing up isn't good enough anymore although, in your case it would be a great start!
You need to participate, ask questions, answer questions, do your homework, bring home your homework, study said homework, and be physically, AND mentally tuned in.
I had a grade 8 teacher that would always say: “Silent and Attentive, Grade 8's Tune In.” and he'd draw his pointer fingers together as he said it.
It was annoying.
So Super Annoying.
But I get it now.
I wish I had gotten it then.
You don't want to be me.
I don't want to be me a lot of the time.
I listen to you talk and you have all these AMAZING goals and dreams for yourself.
And I so badly want them to happen.
I sacrifice so much time, money, and myself for you and your brothers but let's face it, mostly you.
I WANT you to succeed.
I WANT you to be continue to be awesome.
I WANT all of the things you dream for yourself to become a reality – probably more than you want them to become a reality.
You are so Beautiful, Amazing, and Talented.
You are Charismatic, Approachable, and Loveable.
You are EVERYTHING a successful person is.
Don't waste your life floating by.
I don't want you to see your hopes and dreams and goals stay just out of reach.
You need to keep climbing.
I get it, School is hard.
School. Is. Hard.
Not everyone learns the same way.
Not every teacher teaches the same way.
Don't be stubborn, you're old enough to know that the world doesn't always work the way we want it to.
The beauty about being human is we're able to adapt and we learn to adapt.
We decide we want to adapt.
Don't set limitations on yourself.
Don't let others set limitations on you.
Decide who you want to be and design your life accordingly.
Become someone of Self Worth.
Know your worth and own it.
Choose your life.
Don't let your life choose you.
I love you.
I love you the same as I did yesterday and I'll love you the same tomorrow.
I'm not really angry anymore.
I'll probably still take away her phone and tablet.
But I do love her.
I love all three of my kids.
I'm sharing this letter because one day, they might read this blog and I want them to know that this letter isn't just for her. It's for them too.
I never chose to be a single parent.
But I did choose to be the best parent that I can be.
Some days, it's easier to do than others.