The day you take your child to day care is the day you realize how very many ways there are to fail as a parent.
(Actually, I realized this about six weeks later, when several of the other babies gave Valentines to my baby. I didn’t know that was a thing. Sorry, Zoe. Sorry, other babies.)
Opportunities for public failure increase as your child grows.
(This Valentine’s Day, for example, I worried that my–I mean, Zoe’s–Valentine mailbox would be too small / too big / too fancy / not fancy enough. And depending which mother you ask, it probably was.)
And then, the week I had both anticipated and dreaded arrived: Zoe’s turn to be Star of the Week. Every kid at preschool gets a turn (Pro Tip: Just like being a baptized child of God, there’s no works righteousness about being Star of the Week) and it is a Big Deal to most of them.
Until we brought home the special Star of the Week folder, the details of this hallowed week were shrouded in mystery. What did it really mean? (More precisely: how much work was involved for the parents?)
Thanks be to Heidi (Zoe’s wonderful teacher), our turn didn’t come until two weeks after Holy Week. Inside the folder, Post-Its offered a precious glimpse into the world of Star of the Week:
1. Fill out an informational worksheet about your child.
2. Write notes to or about your child on the paper provided.
3. Send photos to display at school during the week.
4. Fill the Star of the Week bag with books and toys from home each day that your child will share with the class.
5. Have lunch with your child at school.
Of course, Zoe already knew all this. She knew most of the questions on the info sheet, and she eagerly filled the Star of the Week bag to bursting on Thursday afternoon. She received her string of lunch guests (Grandma, Daddy, Mama, Grandpa) each day with joy but no surprise. She was the Star of the Week, and it was only fitting, after all.
At least so far, the only one truly anxious about my parental failures is me.
I’m pretty sure this will change in a few years (parents of older children, I hope you weren’t taking a sip of your coffee while you read that one), so I’m going to savor these days, when my Star thinks I’m pretty stellar, too.