Tuesday, January 19, 2010

In praise of the subconscious

If my friend will forgive me, I would like to set down for posterity the most meaningful Freudian slip ever.

My friend, an anxious, noisy-brained mother as I am, texted me this: "If I fall to my needs and beg God do you think my child will stop getting a 76 on tests?"

"Fall to my needs." It says everything.

I told my friend to make sure her high schooler continues to understand how bright and exceptional she is, and that she doesn't grow to believe in a grade more than she believes in herself. 76 is merely a grade, not a verdict on our children's future nor a comment on our mothering.

Yes, I was talking to myself, too.


  1. Angella I hope your friend was encouraged by your words. So much emphasis in our society is put on passing tests at the expense of actually learning and growing as a person. It must be extremely hard for kids and parents not to focus on just that.

  2. My stepson had a good first year at high school. His grades were okay enough but above all, he learned a great deal and grew a great deal. Those will stand him in good stead.

    Life is very often about gradings of one sort or another. It's inescapable sometimes - maybe all we can do is try and teach context and balance?

  3. Deborah, you are so right. Sometimes, though, I think the kids are more okay with it than the parents. They mostly know not to take it all too seriously. We parents could take a note from them.

    Matthew, so nice to see you here! Context and balance, the forerunners of perspective. My daughter has a teacher who says before each test, "This is just a peace of paper. Above all, we have honor." I love that. Thanks for visiting and commenting!