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Tough Love?

November 22, 2013 - Kristy MacKaben
I got the call this morning...the very first call I received from Julie all by herself.

I could just picture her dialing the number on the school office phone.

"Mommy?"

This had to be good.

"I forgot Scorch. Can you bring it?"

Ugh.

Scorch is a stuffed dragon in Julie's class. He's special. Each kid probably only gets to take home Scorch every two months...if they're lucky. Last night was Julie's night.

She was supposed to bring him back to school, along with a story she wrote about him. She left him at home, and the assignment.

"Julie...." I trailed off. I was tempted to give her a mini lecture, but I envisioned the secretaries listening in. Was it on speaker phone?

"I can't come right away," I told her, as I was on the way to drop Johnny off at preschool.

I was also tempted to not get Scorch at all. Maybe that could be a lesson in responsibility. How would she ever learn if I always picked up the pieces? Monday she left her spelling words at school. Last week she completely lost her math homework. And, at least three times a week she just loses her adorable hair ribbons and barrettes at school. Those cost money. They're from Gymboree darnit!

What if I just never came with Scorch and she had to suffer the consequences?

I seriously considered that idea, rationalizing that it was actually a better parenting move than going home, picking up the dirty stuffed animal and dropping it off at school.

Scott reminded me she was in second grade not high school.

Then, I thought about all the times my parents picked up the pieces. Would my mom and dad deliberately let me fail? Would they ignore my calls for help? Heck no. They always came to my rescue. They still do.

And, do I love them for it? Heck yeah. Because they made me feel loved. Like I could be who I was with all my faults and mistakes and bad habits.

Isn't that the mom I want to be?

 
 

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