I hadn’t realized I had been holding my breath, until I let it out and breathed.

The kids got their report cards this past week.

To most parents the report card lets you in on how your kids are doing academically, as well as some insight into the social and emotional too.

For us, the report cards were pretty symbolic of how the kids were fairing in their complicated family lives.

It has been 6 years since I split with my ex-husband. Not a year has gone by since then that has been “normal” for my boys. Whether is was good or bad things: they have always started the school year off with some kind of familial stress. Same goes for my skids. There was always something going on that was impacting someone in some way – above and beyond “normal kid stuff”.

So for the past years, every report card has had some issue: whether it was extreme talking, low self esteem, conflict with peers, distractability, failed course, insufficient effort, not completing work – there was always something. And of course, every year we were raising the bar of expectations (yup – we have expectations) as they were getting better and better study skills and as they understood that there were expectations at our house.

All this meant was at the parent teacher interview, there was always something to discuss. It was actually exhausting and depressing. I never wanted to make excuses for my kids – but I often found myself thinking: Ok – can we have a little compassion please? They are dealing with this right now; or imagine if that was happening to you right now; or it has been such a big adjustment…. Blah Blah Blah. Regardless of the reasons that we understood were behind some of the issues, we still had to deal with the issues.

Well, report cards came out this week and we attended the interviews. In addition to Zach and Josh’s interviews, I got to attend Zandra and Sam’s interviews with Rob as their Mom couldn’t make it. I missed Gabe’s though as it conflicted with Zach’s.

All the reports were – well – glowing. And the interviews were pretty dreamy. There was nothing really to discuss. I mean, improvements can be made of course. They all talk too much (which comes as no surprise -I told the teachers if they thought it was bad in class, they should come to dinner one night). They all could work on a few things here and there. But, compared to the issues we have dealt with in the past – it was seriously dreamy. They were all proud. And we were so proud.

Then I thought about it. It is the first year – and I mean the first year -where nothing was going on in their little lives – except for regular kid stuff. All they had to worry about was school, their activities, and their friends. They are leading “normal” lives.

And that was really reflected in their normal report cards and positive interviews.

So, I breathed a sign of relief. I let the air out that I didn’t even realize I had been holding.

I think we’ve all turned a new corner. We’ve all gotten into the groove of things. We know the routine. We know the expectations. We’ve established some stability and security. And it feels good. Finally.

Just in time as we enter the tween and teen years. Lol.

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