Have you ever seen that Mastercard commercial in which some dad is desperately searching for whatever it is his kid is good at? That's the story of my life with my kid.
He's, um, not quite the student I hoped for.
His piano teacher gently suggested he may have been too young when he started lessons at six.
The band director at his school sent me a scathing note once asking, "Does he really practice at home?" She eventually suggested he move to chorus.
His karate instructor was way put off by his lack of attention. Dropped that.
He has my "knock-knees," so my sister's plan to put the kids in a track program hasn't worked all that well.
He was a bed-wetter and also had an episode of encopresis in the summer of 2005 that had me ready to pull out my hair before I realized it wasn't purposeful.
He has yet to learn his times tables after a year.
Did I mention his last progress report?
And on and on and on.
So anyway, he just came in here and said, "Mama, look what I'm really good at?" "What?" I say, all falsely bright, but hopeful. He whipped out a paddle ball thing and showed me how he can hit the ball for an extended period without it dropping off the side of the paddle.
So, see, all my worrying was for nothing! We now know his talent!
While I'm being all ha-ha now, let me tell y'all, I have cried many nights (and days) because everything with this child has been a struggle. I worry about his future because he has repeatedly learned the lessons of failure and has very little motivation now to try anything. He's been getting failing grades because he's doing this covert act-out thing in which he does his schoolwork and refuses to turn it in. As of the Friday before Thanksgiving, he had 21 zeros--work he simply did not return to the teacher--so you can imagine his grades. The teacher sent me a note today--she found 14 of those assignments, completed, balled up in his desk. We completed a couple more tonight.
Well, perhaps this is a sign he's destined to be a great tennis player? You know, Louisiana's own Andre Agessi? The Cajun of the Tennis Courts? It could be promising. . .Or, ya know, that takes coordination. Maybe he's destined to become a drummer. Your son, the infamous rock-n-roll drummer. There's serious money in that, ya know. Not to mention adoring fans.
Don't give up, Elle. And certainly don't stop pushing him or even let him give up. These are the kinds of things that can make him stronger. You have to let him know that his going through these trials early in life will make him that much stronger and better when he grows up. Think of the children who sail through school and everything comes easy for them. When some of them get to college and have to struggle with getting a B or C for the first time they lose it. And some find that college isn't as easy and they have to work harder and end up flunking out. Use these moments as teachable moments and get him to see that, just like mommy has to work hard and be disciplined and write all the time to get her Ph.D., he will have to work hard for the things he really wants. I have a feeling the kid is going to surprise us with more than a paddle and ball. He just needs to catch his stride.
Despite what may be going on between me and the hubby, my offer for him to do some jacking up still stands!
Hang in there girl!
zan, you're as hopeful as me.
gwyn, thank you. i need to hear that.
and bf tx, you know i'm always ready for that.
Hang in there and continue working with him. I'm sure it is a struggle, but you have got to continue to push him. Have faith and try and stay positive.
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