Seven Quick Takes Friday is hosted at Conversion Diary.
Let’s get started …
This semester has gotten off to a rough start for GD. It looks like I’m going to have a conference with his shop teacher for the simple fact that he failed the very first test he was given and the teacher doesn’t appear to be answering GD’s questions about what went wrong (and he hasn’t received that test back yet and the teacher has been gone 12 out of the 16 days since the new semester has started [??]). I always encourage the boys to take care of their own scholastic problems by themselves because this is real life – I can’t hold their hand through difficult periods forever.
But enough is enough. The boy can’t very well solve this on his own if the teacher won’t give him the time of day – so now, it’s my turn to step in and enforce a little parental authority, I suppose. I hate doing this, but this teacher is not leaving GD a lot of options. The school, as a whole, prides itself on working through scholastic difficulties with the students – this dude is simply not responding and certainly not helping to work through anything.
However, I will not get bent out of shape and charge in there like an angry momma bull. After all, I’m only hearing one side of the story – GD’s side. And though I love my son and trust him, I know that he’s a bit lackluster when it comes to any sort of confrontation, so there’s no telling what’s really going on.
But he’s stressed about his classes this semester and I’ve always told him that I’m on HIS side – I will help him if he needs me. I will not DO any of it for him (like I did in elementary school – don’t do that, by the way), but I will certainly back him up if he needs me.
It looks like he’s going to need me this semester.
Summer can’t get here fast enough.
In the meantime, MK is waffling back and forth on his grades. Algebra and Band, of all things, are the classes giving him problems this semester.
Algebra is obvious – this crap is hard, even my accountant husband is scratching his head at times.
But band?? I think he’s getting a wittle burned out on the whole saxophone thing. Getting him to practice outside of school is like giving cats meds. But in MK’s defense, he does have two entire classes of band every single day, plus he’s gearing up for THREE ensemble competitions in two weeks AND he’s been staying after school and playing in pep band, so I can see where the boy is coming from. By the time he gets home, he’s sick to death of even LOOKING at his sax, let alone playing it.
Speaking of MK’s playing – we went over his freshman schedule this week. He’ll be taking the usual assortment – English, Math, P.E. Health, Social Studies, Intergrated Science …
But he’s also scheduled to take computer keyboarding, a cooking class, (which sort of freaks me out because this boy is scatterbrained! I hope they have fire extinguishers handy!) and he’s signed up for both marching band AND freshman band.
Yikes. This means I’ll likely have to make two trips, to the same school, in the same day, every day, for the next two years. Marching band meets early, like 6:30 in the morning early, before school every day to practice. GD can barely stand to get to school 10 minutes before he’s due in his first class, there’s NO WAY the boy will be willing to get to school that early every day to … nothing.
But I’m not worried about the extra trips. I’m worried about MK being able to handle it all. The band director has already warned us that being in band will take up a lot of time and energy. MK has trouble handling what he has now, in 8th grade. And he thinks assignment books (i.e. date books) are for girls – he absolutely refuses to use one.
So, he forgets a lot of things. And is usually scrambling around trying to get everything together before THE event. Which means, I’ve learned to be more spontaneous with this kid – I just never know what’s going on until he’s calling me on my cell phone to tell me.
But even though I have a feeling this is going to be chaotic and stressful, I also think he’ll have the time of his young life and THAT knowledge makes everything else all worthwhile.
Speaking of schedules – apparently, we weren’t supposed to schedule GD for Chemistry this year. Though it was an option on his schedule last year and his counselor never said boo about it.
He’s one of four sophomores in his Chemistry class. The rest of the kids are juniors. And this is bad for two reasons: 1. he doesn’t know anyone in his Chemistry class. 2. He doesn’t feel smart enough to compete with the upper upperclassman.
*sigh* Poor kid. He had been holding his own with the class until the first test, which he failed. He was very depressed about it last night (when we discovered how he did through the online grade system – LOVE that thing, by the way). He couldn’t understand why he did so poorly. He had put forth an effort, he said, but I’m thinking it wasn’t a big enough effort.
Last semester was extremely easy for GD. He rarely had any homework and he finished the semester with nearly all A’s. Social Studies and English have always been easy subjects for him. And he also had Japanese. Even though Japanese is not easy to learn, he did well in that class because he wanted to learn it.
So, he got used to making minimal effort. But now, this semester, he has math, science and shop – all classes that require a lot more time and a lot more of GD’s brain capacity. When he says he studied for his Chemistry test, I’m thinking it was more of a cursory glance, at best.
So, he was depressed last night. And to my utter surprise, he wanted to talk to me about it. He didn’t come right out and SAY, “Mom, I need to talk to you,” but he hung around and he didn’t bite my head off when I said anything so that right there clued me in that the boy needed to get some things off his chest.
I reassured him. I told him that it was early in the semester and that now he knew what to expect from this teacher. Next time, he would have to spend more time on studying. And I also told him not to pass up any extra credit opportunities because being lazy ultimately comes back to bite you in the butt.
I also told him that he needed to accept the fact that there will be some things that come easy to him, and some things that won’t come so easily for him. That life is not about instant gratification, like in his video games, sometimes, you need to work harder, and be patient with yourself, to get something.
I told him to stop giving up on himself so quickly. That he was smarter than he gave himself credit for and that I had the utmost confidence in him – I KNEW he could do this. The question is, how badly did HE want it?
I also told him to pray. To hand God his fears and anxieties, to ask Him to give him the strength and courage to face these challenges. God is only too happy to help, but He won’t do it for him, he would have to work for it himself.
I think our talk helped him. His chest puffed out just a bit more and I could tell by his expression that what I was telling him was actually sinking in.
These moments don’t happen very often with GD – especially since he’s become a teenager, but when they do, I cherish them. I pray the kid does well on his Geometry test today.
Question: Is it all right to walk around the house naked in front of your teenage boys?
Of course not!
I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. 😉
You’re REALLY doing yourself a disservice if you aren’t following me on Twitter. 😉
Why, you ask?
Because I just now Twittered about the upcoming LIVE cupcake portrait assemble of President Obama at the Smithsonian. Check out my Twitter account for the link to the LIVE feed!
MK’s school had their Open House / Pancake Supper last night. I had to go by myself because Kevin had a business dinner he had to go.
I didn’t know anyone. So while MK was in the band room, getting his instrument and warming up, I sat on some benches near the door and looked busy texting messages to myself on Twitter.
Even though I was extremely lonely, sitting there, by myself, with no one to talk to and everyone ignoring me, it was sort of cool, too. Because I felt invisible, I had the distinct advantage of watching people without fear of being incarcerated.
There were so many young mothers. And I recognized their tired, tolerant and slightly apprehensive expressions – I used to be one of them.
I felt so old, sitting there watching all the activity buzz around me. And yet, it didn’t bother me. I had the hindsight of wisdom on my side, I suppose.
I had to smile though as a mother, with her two grade school children next to me, began quizzing her children on the solar system – I can only assume they had a test today.
The children, being distracted by all the activity, weren’t really taking it very seriously and shouted out ridiculous answers. The mother looked at me a few times and we exchanged the “mom” smile. You know that smile? The one where you want to throttle your kids but wouldn’t dare given the surroundings?
Yeah, I remember that feeling all too well.
I waited nearly an hour for MK and the rest of the pep band to perform. And though the performance only lasted 15 minutes, the thrill that my musically-inclined child looked more alive than I’ve seen him all week will stay with me for a very long time.