Sunday, September 25, 2011


As a child my parents always expected the absolute best from me. I've always been the brainy one, so anything less than the best was not acceptable. It wasn't that they wanted MY best but THE best. That's tough to live up to, but I always did well anyway so it was tolerable. My father was the pushy one for the most part. An A wasn't good enough, why wasn't it an A+? My mother was always proud of anything I did, as long as I did well she was happy.

Given that I grew up with such high expectations from my parents, I guess it rubbed off on me and I have nothing but high hopes for my children. So, when I saw a cousin of mine post her son's report card with THREE C's on her Facebook page I was confused. I wouldn't be flaunting Isabella's report card if it had three C's on it (regardless if the other grades were two B's and an A like her son's) and I definitely wouldn't be patting myself on the back and writing off the report card as a job well done on my part. To be perfectly honest, I'd be disappointed.

Is that wrong...?

I shared my feelings with Isabella's father and he said he WOULD be proud of Isabella "just as long as she passes." That's it? Just as long as she passes? What kind of goals will Isabella have if all we ever want/expect from her is the bare minimum? I'm not saying I want Isabella (or my son on the way) to be a super genius and anything less will cause them to be the bane of my existence. Not at all!! Unlike my father, I just want them to do THEIR best, that doesn't mean they have to be THE best. As long as they challenge themselves and do the absolute best they can then I'll be happy. I do not want my kids to just skate by in life. Their dad on the other hand seems like just getting by would be fine by him. He said to me "you have your degree and what has that gotten you?"

On some level he's right. I went to private school from kindergarten to 8th grade, graduated high school as a member of the Honor's Society, a Regents endorsed diploma and ranked 60 out of 519 students academically. I went on to Hunter College, where I obtained a BA in Media Studies. Now, I have a  job as an Intake Coordinator at a home care agency where I make a measly $15 an hour. He was born and raised in Guatemala, did some of his elementary schooling here in the states, was shipped back to Guatemala for bad behavior, came back and got his GED. Now, he's a receptionist at a dental office where he makes a measly $15 an hour. To be fair, his boss is his uncle's "special friend" so his pay rate is higher than that of any of his co-worker's -- it's favoritism. But on the same note, it sucks! He really hasn't done anything compared to me, academically, but he makes the same amount as I do. Although, this could be the infamous "glass ceiling" that people talk about...

What ever the reason and what ever my kids turn out to be like I'll continue to help them do their best and never expect anything less than the results of their hard work.

Which, ultimately, I guess, means I would be proud of three C's if I knew my kids worked hard for those C's. If they didn't then I'd do MY part as their mom to encourage them and inspire them to DO BETTER, isn't that what we're here for anyway?

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