Growing up, I always acknowledged the relevance of education. My mother, until this day, would express how the only thing that could not be taken from me, is education itself. For after I have learned something, it would forever be mine. My mother has always been my best friend and as a child, she made it her priority to instill lifelong values in me.
The bond that we share is so strong and unbreakable that because of it, my respect for her is like no other. Even as a young adult, I aim to please her. I make my decisions with her in mind because I would hate for her to hurt or be dissatisfied with me. It would only, in return, sadden me and cause me to have a heavy burden. I refuse to let that happen again!
I attended Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy for a mere two years. It was there I received my first progress report, the longest report a human being will ever see. Looked more like a brochure to be exact! Each page had maybe three different sections with about 10 subtitles.
What makes it worst was that it was the subtitles that were graded. Work Habits, Listening Skills, Development in Art, and Personal are just a few that I can remember seeing. All this for a kindergarten student?
I never received a grade on so much work even when I was in high school. It didn’t matter at the time because I always brought home all A’s. Nothing less.
Of all the children in the class with me, I was the only one whose name the teacher rarely called. If ever she did, especially in this low of a grade, it would be to take names of those being disobedient or simply help pass out the mid-day snack.
I was the student who my peers considered a “teacher’s pet.” It didn’t bother me at all because I knew that how I was behaving in school, my mom would surely approve. My main objective was to act in a way that did not cause me to get a whipping when I got home. Spare the rod, spoil the child! I am a firm believer.
I kept up my good grades all while I was in private school and even after I had enrolled in public school at the beginning of my second grade year. I remember when I brought home my report cards my mom would be so ecstatic that she would call all of my aunts and uncles just to tell them what I received. I use to think, “what is the big deal?” She would put them in her briefcase so that her co-workers could see my grades the next day.
It wasn’t until my third grade year that I committed my first crime. It was a felony by the way! Early that morning, during homeroom, my teacher handed out everyone’s report card. Anxious to see what I had received, I tore open the sealed paper and instantly burst into tears. I saw my young life, a life that had just began, flash before my eyes. I knew that once I got home, it was going to be a slow, painful death.
For the rest of that day, I kept my eye on the clock, anticipating 5:00. During lunch, I couldn’t stomach the smell of the food and my nerves were so bad that I could barely focus during social studies time. In PE., I just sat in the corner and prayed to God.
At 4:45, I felt so sick I thought I was going to faint. My mom walked in and after signing me out of the after school program, she gestured for me to come on. “Poor me,” I thought. As soon as we got in the car, BOOM there it was. She asked for it!
I remember passing it to her so slowly from the back seat. We both were at a loss for words, me, because of fear, and her because of anger. Little did I know, that would be the last time my mom would speak to me for the next three days.
No I didn’t get the beating that I had thought about all day. Instead, I got the worst form of treatment known to man. I was ignored!
She acted as though I had bought home 20 F’s. After a scheduled parent teacher meeting, my teacher, Ms. Harden, told my mom that no child is perfect and that she should be proud of my hard work and remarkable grades.
Ever since then, I have been passionate about my academics and have not settled for anything that doesn’t meet my standards. My hard work is sometimes difficult and stressful, but the outcome is a blessing.
To this day, I enjoy seeing the smile that comes on my mom’s face when I tell her my grades for the semester. Tough love may be harsh, but it changes life’s as well.
Thank you mommy and happy Mother’s Day!