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Ruth’s MM: A Safe Home

The light-hearted air that usually surrounded me during the first day of summer vacation was missing. My mom and I sat on the floor of my bedroom, surrounded by all of the collected papers, art projects, and tid-bits from my third grade year.

“Did you have a good year in third grade?” my mom asked.

I shrugged my shoulders, “It was okay, I guess.”

With a voice filled with concern, Mom asked, “What’s the matter, Ruthie? You just don’t seem very happy.”

I paused sorting through my backpack, thought for a moment and said, “It’s kinda hard to be happy when you’re never good enough.”

My third grade year was one where I constantly fell short of my teacher’s expectations. Although I was in the high reading and math groups; brought home good grades; and didn’t have behavior problems, I never felt good enough for the teacher.

Looking back, I’m not sure that there was anything so awful about me. I was a typical third grader with a vivid imagination and a heart that wanted to please. By the end of the year, my spirit had been squashed.

What I remember, though, is even when I didn’t feel good enough in school, at the end of the day I went home to parents who affirmed that I was okay, just the way I was. Home was safe and I could be myself. And that person was affirmed and loved and supported.

I remember this today, because I want my kids to have this same sense of being totally accepted at home. I want them to feel the safety of a home where all walls and barriers and masks can come down. I remember this today because my mom and dad were always supporting me. They let me be me. I need this reminder. I need to let my kids be themselves — in all the glory of a 6, 4, and 2 year old.

Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

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