On feeling like a terrible mother.

I got a call from the school the other day. It was a Thursday, right around noon. I wasn’t expecting to receive a call from the school for anything. Before I even answered the call, I thought, “Oh no, what’s up with Reese?”


Back in September, a note came home from Reese’s teacher with an offer to send home an optional homework packet. I wrote a note back to the teacher telling her we’d love to have a homework packet and one was sent home the following Monday along with a daily reading log.

Soccer started for both girls that same week. With soccer came practices and an inconsistent schedule. We weren’t getting home for game nights until after 7 PM only to have to rush a dinner and get the girls showered before bed.

A few weeks after school had started, the last week of September, I suppose, I opened Reese’s weekly folder to discover an un-touched homework packet and a reading log with nothing more than Reese’s name scratched across the top, and two squares colored in.

In that same folder, on the opposite side, I found three permission slips. Two for upcoming field trips and one stating that Reese has been identified as a kiddo that could use some extra reading help and that they’d like our permission to take her out of class to join a reading program.

My heart sank. Her teacher must think we are horrible parents that don’t give their kid the time of day. I felt like it was my fault she needs extra help. Maybe if I hadn’t forgotten about that homework packet. Maybe if I had been more diligent about squeezing in reading every night. Maybe if I was more creative at working “learning” into our conversations. “what are you making for dinner, Mom?” “Reese, I’m making Tacos. What letter does the word T-t-taco start with?”

The next day I emailed the teacher. Mainly to check in and see how Reese was adjusting to kindergarten. The teacher replied that same afternoon saying she would send home test scores from their recent assessments and assuring me that Reese is doing fine.

Her scores from the beginning of the school year showed Reese as “high risk.” The most recent scores on the test showed great gains and progress. Of course, all I could see was that label.


I took a deep breath in and answered the phone. The call from the school had nothing to do with Reese. It was in regard to her sister. Why did I assume it was going to be a negative call about Reese?  I chatted with the teacher that called, hung up the phone and despite the pleasant nature of the call, I felt like a terrible mother.

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