Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cat Stevens and Insecurity

I’m sure this post title has you saying, “Huh?”

Yeah, it doesn’t make much sense except that I want to talk about both:  Cat Stevens and insecurity…but not necessarily together.

Today was a perfect Michigan spring day.  It was in the low 60s, the sun was shining, and there was a nice breeze.  I was able to leave work a little early and I drove home with the moon roof open and the radio blaring.  I was singing away and was totally happy.  I don’t even remember what I was singing but was thinking that if Cat Stevens’ “If you want to sing out” came on the radio, it would be the perfect song at that very moment. 

All was right with the world.

For the moment.

A short while later, I was picking Carter up from school.  I ran into the mom of a friend of Carter’s.  We were perusing the books at the Book Fair and I asked if her son could read.  Carter is doing OK with sounding out some words and has a decent grasp of many site words, but he’s not a bonafide reader, yet.  We have other friends whose children are the same age as Carter and they are reading quite well, can write several sentences together.  I had just sort of chalked them up as anomalies…thinking they were just exceptionally bright children or they go to better schools. Well it turns out that Carter’s friend from school can read pretty well, too.  Hmm, definitely can’t blame it on the school, now.

So now I’m feeling all insecure about Carter’s reading and writing levels.  He’s a smart kid.  Just ask my husband or my parents.  They’ll tell you!  But somehow he’s not doing as well as his peers with reading and writing and it really disturbs me. I’m sure that it’s not a matter of his capability, but a matter of effort. My effort…or lack there of.  Now I really just feel like a bad mother for not spending enough time with him practicing.

And then I feel even worse when I think about next year. He’ll be in the first grade and we’ll have a young baby in the house.  It’s not like I’ll have more time to dedicate to Carter and school work next year. 

In less than two hours time, I went from a fabulous, spring-induced high to a new low brought on by parental insecurities.

Quick, find the nearest Walmart.  I need to go be reassured that there are worse mothers than me out there.  

Hey, at least Carter was in bed by 8:30, freshly showered and in clean PJs.  Oh, and he’s never had a sip of soda or chewed gum in his entire, 5 1/2 year life. 

He might be illiterate but at least Child Protective Services can’t take him away from me.

PS - While I’ve been writing this post, Ben has been working in the basement.  Filtering up through the vents are the sounds of wood being cut on the table saw, the air compressor charging up, the power nailer being used, and the occasional giggle of satisfaction coming from Ben.  Not only is he kicking butt down there and making great progress on finishing the basement, he is getting immense enjoyment and fulfillment from the task. 

I’m so incredibly envious.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Carter is fine. You are a good mom beside the no pop and gum thing. Carter is a happy kid who has spent his younger years in a country where he learned a new language. He got to visit many wonderful places. When the baby arrives you and Carter can read books to the baby together and than Carter can read to both of you. Nora