This is a picture of the letter I received yesterday from Madison. She is nearly done with basic training and I am so excited to watch her graduate! Madison and I have been writing letters to one another every day since she left for Texas. There is nothing more sweet than receiving a letter from your "little girl" in which she tells you that you are her best friend and that she loves you! The most important thing I ever learned as a parent is that the relationship I have with my child outweighs any accomplishments or milestones that I may wish for them to achieve. (Keep in mind, "best friend" status shouldn't occur until after they have left home.)
When Madison was in high school, she hated it. It was like pulling teeth just to get her to go to school, never mind doing well while she was there. At one point, one of her teachers called me in to discuss her grades. He insinuated that I was not actively participating in her education because I was not "forcing" her to do her Global History project. I explained that I have provided Madison with every possible resource to be successful in school but it was up to her to actually utilize them and that I was not going to put a gun to her head and try to force her to learn. The teacher smirked at me and retorted, "Some parents are actually invested in their children's education!" At that moment, I think I could actually feel my blood boil inside my body and I wanted to lash out but I kept my cool and asked him if he had any children of his own. He said he didn't, then changed his answer to "Well, one on the way." I then offered him some advice. I merely said, "Some day, I hope you understand that the child is more than the grade. I am fully invested in my child and I love her enough to let her be responsible for her own consequences. That is the real education!"
The next day, this teacher apologized to me. Madison continued to struggle through school until she finally graduated. She was always smart enough to do the work, but like her mother, she didn't find as much value in the classroom as she did in real world experience. I have no doubt that she will continue to be successful! Oh and what is success in our house? Happiness.
In this letter that Madison sent, the first line says "Mom, I miss you so much, you are my best friend." I would say that my "investment" in my kid paid off! She is bright, loving, kind, and compassionate and I am very proud of her. Remember: while your children are growing up, the most important thing is to create a bond that will remain once they leave the home. Worry less about what other people think, don't listen to ignorant comments, hug your babies, and Live Inspired Now!