Every day when I come home from work I ask Charlotte questions about her day at school. I usually get one word answers and then she’s back to making whatever godforsaken mess without any details of her day. But then it’s bedtime, and as we read Pippi Longstocking (I forgot how funny this series is) she will stop me midsentence to tell me things about her day. The other night she told me that she wants to be star student. I had no idea what it was so she was explaining to me that every day someone gets to be star student — if they raise their hand, pay attention, etc., etc. She said her friend was star student that day and she was very jealous and I told her that’s an OK emotion to have but she could be happy for her friend too. Then she started to cry and everything came pouring out of her. She told me that first grade is hard. That she is trying her best to pay attention and to raise her hand, but she doesn’t know all of the answers and is afraid to say the wrong thing. That they aren’t doing anything they did in kindergarten and she doesn’t like it. She said she’s going to try even harder to pay attention but she doesn’t know if she can do it. My heart seriously broke for her. She really went into this year thinking it would be like kindergarten and she just got slapped in the face with what school actually is. She’s never had a normal year of school so this is a double whammy of an adjustment. I told her that everyone in the whole world gets things wrongs every single day. That the important thing is to try your best and getting things wrong is just the way that everyone learns. Nobody is born knowing all of the answers to everything. In reality, the majority of the population of the United States is actually pretty stupid. I didn’t tell her that of course. She’ll figure that out on her own one day. But she prayed to be star student and I told her I’d be proud of her either way.

Yesterday, Miss Charlotte Shea was star student. She ran to me when I walked in the front door with the biggest smile on her face. I knew she got chosen as star student because my friend sent me the photo of her holding up her little award when she picked her up for me. I told her after I put Mackenzie to bed we’d go get ice cream to celebrate and when we were waiting for our sundaes she told me how proud she was of herself and honestly that is the only thing I want to hear from her. She sat in the car with me and gave me little nuggets from her day (a boy has a crush on her, here we go!) and she went to bed happier than she has in weeks.

And then this morning we got into an argument over what clothes she would wear to school because she refuses to wear pants again and she insisted on wearing her CHRISTMAS DRESS from last year and while she may be star student she is most certainly NOT star daughter today, I’ll tell you that much.

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