He's spoiled and loved beyond measure, but as the baby of a busy family and a kid who's fulfilling Round 3 of milestones, sometimes his preschool stuff doesn't exactly get the attention his sisters' more demanding projects get. Like maybe I don't remember to send his communication folder, like, ever. By the time we get through morning duties and I drop him off, sometimes my standards have basically sunk to: "Here he is, keep him alive. Cant find his lunchbox so there's a sandwich in a tied-off grocery bag, K bye." Tonight, I suddenly remembered we had the class monkey and it's due tomorrow along with a journal of the adventures he shared with Dash. The good light was gone for cute pictures, I was tired and prepared to half-ass it again, but then I remembered what a highlight the girls' adventures with their class animals were. Class animal journals? This is our thing. This is where we make up for tardies and grocery bag lunch boxes and folders that don't get signed. We go all out on class animal adventures, and our kids return from those weekends with journals tucked in their backpacks and butterflies in their stomach because they're that excited to share their stories. I couldn't fail him on this one. And how many more Max the Monkey journal opportunities are we going to get? So Max learned how to ride a bike tonight. Climbed so high in a palm tree, he had to be rescued. Stole the neighbor's bananas, had to sit in time out, snorkeled in the bathtub, ate dog food and liked it and is now snuggled next to a sleepy boy who, for a moment, believes that stuffed animals can come to life. The older I get, the more accepting I am of my shortcomings and the kinder I am to where I miss the mark in motherhood. Because the home runs are so good and make up for the rest. His lunch might be tied in a grocery bag tomorrow, but I'll be damned, there will be a journal tucked in his backpack with funny stories and pictures and an underlying message that he knows well by now...your communication folder might be empty, but goodness--child, you are loved. You are loved, you are loved, you are loved.