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Parenting the Approximation

As I read the email sent home from school, I immediately had that, “What now?” reaction. When you have a child who was born living outside the box, this is a conditioned response.  I began reading with a mix of fear and amusement. Afterall I work at the school so I was reading the email from the Academic Dean, my boss, while standing in her presence. This was a new one even for my kid. Man, I love her creativity at times. Here is a well written, articulate, grammatically correct email, requesting that someone would reconsider something that she wasn’t happy about. Isn’t this what we have been raising her to do? These are victories. We have said a thousand times in her life, “The answer is always no if you don’t ask?.” This is a letter that follows the conventions of standard language. It was polite, and funny, and probably not appropriate. Okay, so that last part wasn’t great, but don’t miss all the victories here. My “nobody uses capitals and punctuation anymore” child just wrote a friendly letter correctly.  And while I know I didn’t receive this email as a sign of the school’s great affection for this written work, the result was rewarding her for getting close to the mark, even if it didn’t hit it exactly.  In all fairness to the school they recognized the victories too and handled it with a good sense of humor not a heavy hand. I opted to play good cop even though I did add a teaching moment into the mix. I’m sorry for the receiving party who didn’t have the background for this moment, but I am responsible for the bigger picture of her rearing. I want to raise a bold and audacious girl who can handle her own and doesn’t need to be a victim. Hopefully that will come with a touch of discernment, but for the time I will enjoy the victories. Pizza for all.

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