3rd Grade Retention

So it’s the end of the school year, and I got a call from O’s school administration today. She’s going to have to repeat the 3rd grade. Shit, Shitty, Shitterton. Ultimate Mom Fail. At least, that’s how I feel this very moment. We did get her meds and her new Dr. and everything, and she did bring up her grades in every subject, but it just wasn’t enough to bring her whole average up for the year. We tried. My God, we tried, everything. It just wasn’t enough. I have full on mom-guilt at this moment. I cried, I’m crying as I write this. I knew it was coming, I’ve been talking to her teacher about it since the beginning of the last 9 weeks. I don’t know how to tell her. She’ll be devastated. The kids are already so mean, she’s taller and bigger than everyone in class now, imagine what it will look like next year. I might have to throat chop a kid, or more likely, their parents. I hate mean kids, man, they’re terrible. They say such hateful things to each other. This is going to suck, in the most unimaginable way.

I know that it’s better to hold her back now, academically, rather than push her through and then have her struggle in middle or high school. I know that by doing this, she’ll be way ahead of the game in the long run. All of that is great. The school is quick to point all that factual crap out, and they’re right, but you don’t have to look a little girl in her precious face and break her little heart. Me and Daddy do. She tried so hard. She really did. I am so proud of her for bringing her grades up as much as she did, just in the little time (3 weeks) she’s been on the new meds. I mean, we’re talking whole letter grades, from F’s to B’s, people. She made huge strides. But it wasn’t enough. This is the first time that I’ll have to explain to her that it isn’t always enough. That your very, VERY best isn’t always enough. That’s what we tell our kids, right? We don’t expect all A’s, we expect you to do your very best. Well, she did, she put all of her effort into her work the MOMENT we got her meds right, and she was able to focus. It’s not her fault, it’s mine, and she gets to suffer because I fell short – it’s that I didn’t realize we needed to get her new doctors fast enough, we believed what the first doctor told us and we didn’t find and change doctors soon enough, that we didn’t get her meds right in time for her to be able to retain and learn everything she needed to. I failed her. She’s not supposed to learn this reality yet. That your best isn’t always enough, and that everyone has the potential to fail you, even your mom. She’s still a little girl! Holy shit, she’s never going to believe anything I say, ever again!! I’ve told her all her life that she just needs to do her best. That’s a lie. We all know it, but we’re not supposed to know it at 9 years old.

O is used to me going to battle for her when I need to, she can rely on it. She knows that we advocate for her at every turn. We also bust her behind with the same veracity when she’s out of line. There’s nothing I can do…I checked. I can take it to the district, but they will stand behind the decision and the grades she earned. When I tell her this, she will not see me as her warrior anymore, because I couldn’t save her from this. I’m not ready for her to know that I’m not really “WonderBatFlash-Mom”. This sucks. I’m going to have some coffee and a cry.

 

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