I remember being a kid & bringing home my spelling or math test on Friday. I would be on the bus and would get the test out of my backpack & clutch it, as if somehow it was going to get out of my backpack & walk away. But, just in case, it wasn't happening on my watch. I would walk in & proudly say "Mom, Here's my test!" & Just waited with the biggest smile on my face! My mom would be so proud & that sucker would right on the front of the fridge. With the best magnet to hold it up. The entire family would see MY A+ every time they need milk, water, anything. 

But when I did't get that A, I would pray my mom wouldn't ask about the test when I got home. & just let it sit in my backpack in hopes she wouldn't find it.

Fast Forward to now, my second grader now has weekly spelling tests. She has week after, week brought home 100% A+'s and she is always so proud to take the Disney pin on her cork strip & display it for all to see. When my mom comes over, she will route her over to show her "look Nana, look at my spelling tests" She is always proud. & she should be. She studies & works on the words all week long.

On our little command center on the side of the fridge, each girl also has a basket. It has all their papers from their folders in it so nothing is lost & I go through it all. When I went through the baskets, I came across the previous weeks spelling test. & it occurred to me I hadn't asked her about & she hadn't brought it up. It was a B-, she had missed  2 words.

I asked her & she was so ashamed & I asked her why she didn't hang it up. 
Without ever saying it, she had the impression that only perfect papers & tests adorned our fridge.

Here's the thing, I am not a ever body gets a trophy person.
Not every effort needs rewarded.
Would I love for my kids to always get A+'s? Obviously, yes.
But that isn't realistic.

She worked hard on those words, I know she did. & I will proudly display her B- or C, or whatever it is, as I would a A+
She made some mistakes. But everyone does. 
& sometimes it's good to put them on display. & see them.
I mean, I have to look at my mistake of backing into the garage door... twice in week, every day! ha!
But, I DOES remind me to slow down & really watch what I am doing when I back out from now on.
& that's what I like to tell myself when I am annoyed we haven't replaced it yet 😜😜

I learned from backing into the garage door.
& I think we need to remember, our kids are in school to learning.
It's not always the end result of the letter.
I am more interested in how they got that letter. What was the process. Why do you think you getting things wrong.
So while, it's not a matter of always praising every bad or good grade that comes through our door.
It's showing them that, if you are giving your best, I am proud of your work. Even when it isn't perfect.

The week I put up her B-, she was reminded of it all week long. 
& she didn't like it.
Even with me encouraging her that she worked for it.

That B ended up pushing her to work even harder on her next test. Slow down & think harder.
& what the A+'s do, is encourage her to keep working hard to continue to get them. Because she likes that feeling.

The next week, she brought home a A+.
But she knows now, when she walks in with her test; she never will feel embarrassed or that I only want to see perfection, & that she needs to hide her mistakes from me. There is a lesson in every triumph & every mistake. & she can put any letter grade up on the fridge, & I will still walk by proud because she's learning. 

& I am learning it really is time to replace that garage door.