The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

March 10, 2007

I WAS HIM ONCE...

MY SON HAD A BAD WEEK.

Report card. Not good. And a secretive element involved, deciding not to tell Dad until the very last moment before teacher/parent/student interviews.

This despite assurances, when he was with me (mom and dad are split) that all was well, he was making school first priority, girlfriend, singing in band and other things second.

Anger. Frustration. Reaming out. Disappointment. Mucho sadness. His pledge to do better beyond words, but to be shown in actions and results. And, finally, acceptance.

And, the day after, acceptance by me...that I was a teenaged doofus too. And that I have to now make sure he knows...

--that I skipped class in kindergarten to go tree-climbing.

--that I was the class clown in Grade 7, suspended for pulling teacher's dress down

--that I failed Grade 10 French and had to go to summer school

--that I almost failed typing because I didn't do one assignment until the last week of the school year, when my mom forced me to do it

--that I was a 50s and 60s (marks) kinda guy until Grade 11

And he needs to know that, given my own experience as a professional world-class teenaged doofus, things can be turned around if there's the intention and try to do that.

And that in the end, A's or F's won't change the beautiful person he is.

18 comments:

  1. You are a wonderful parent and I'm sure your son is well aware of that fact.

    It is your job as a father to make sure that he knows he should have done better in school and that he should have kept you up to date. A lot of fathers would have reamed him out and left it at that.

    The fact that you are making sure he knows that you weren't a perfect child and that you still think he's a beautiful person, is what makes you a (great) dad.

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  2. Thanks Laurie.

    I almost feel guilty when I post about him and what he's going through, because I do it so often.

    But he and I just have this connection that is unlike any I've ever had with anyone else.

    I want to wring his neck but I want to hug him at the same time.

    He's a great kid with a lot of feeling and caring to him. That's what I tell him is more important than anything else.

    :-)

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  3. I understand that bond. My son and I are close like that too. He's my best friend in the universe. Id blog about him every day if he wasn't so much bigger than me. ;-)

    He irritates the (mismatched) socks off of me sometimes, but I love him more than life.

    And you are so right, grades will come and go; that your son is a caring, loving person is what truly matters.

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  4. Very sweet and understanding... Its hard to think of your parents as human, or worse teenagers. It makes a huge difference to know your parents made stupid mistakes, and were probably angst ridden teens....

    Your a great dad WW

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  5. Laurie:

    Still mismatching your socks, eh? I avoid that problem by just buying all the same socks.

    Aidan:

    I'll have to provide your quote about parents not being human to him...he'll laugh. He's 15.

    He laughs at everything. And will particularly like that I was, as you say, also an angst-ridden teen.

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  6. awww, ww, this is you at your very best. awesome awesome support for your son. he will never forget it. he'll carry it around in his back pocket and when the world tries to turn on him, he'll remember the message from his dad.

    nice work, ww.

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  7. You're doing a wonderful job with him. Parenting is such a huge responsibility and now that I am one, I look back at my childhood resentments about my parents with a different eye.

    I see the strictness, and the absolute focus on doing well in school in a different light now. And while I still don't agree with some of the things they did, I now fully understand where they were coming from.

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  8. What a wonderful father you are.

    I failed my textiles class in year 8 because I talked too much and didn't do any sewing. I got sent out of a maths class for telling the teacher that no, she couldn't have my attention please. I failed South African History because I did it by correspondence and therefore had no teacher to make me do any work.

    Then again, I ended up working in a call centre. I wonder why?

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  9. KJ:

    Thanks. Hope it doesn't get too tattered, stinky or washed too many times hiding back there...:-)

    Menchie:

    Thanks to you too.

    And if it wasn't for my mom forcing me to pull up my bootstraps on more than one occasion, I'd be...I dunno.

    Stace:

    You're at a call centre now...doesn't mean a dang thing.

    While all my school chums graduated with better marks than me in high school and enrolled in university at light speed, I took jobs as a janitor, truck driver, delivery guy, cab driver, assembly line worker.

    When I finally figured out where I wanted to head and how to do it, I went back to school.

    I'm in much better position now than many of them in a job I really enjoy.

    What do they say? It isn't how you start. It's how you finish.

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  10. aww what a wonderful dad u r...u r a truly understanding parent and thats rare WW.

    Ur son is very lucky.
    Keshi.

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  11. Awwwwww!!

    WW you are fast becoming the master of the Awwwww Posts. I like it. =)

    Happy Monday!!

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  12. he sounds normal - isn't that in the job description for teenage boy?

    with a dad like you on his case he can't go wrong (much)

    ;o)

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  13. Your son is lucky to know that you accept him warts and all. I have never felt that kind of acceptance from my parents and as you get older you realise how important that is.

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  14. Keshi, Shelley:

    Awww, I'm going to have a post something on Newt Gingrich, George Bush and Stephen Harper soon then...

    Ziggi:

    No, not much...

    Lee:

    :-)

    Acceptance, except of self, isn't always everything it's cracked up to be.

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  15. Quit being so nice..send him off to military school.
    There is nothing that a good hazing and some psychological deconstruction can't cure!

    You are such a big mushball.

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  16. I agree with h.e. Thats what my dad did with me. I have turned out...well...almost good!!

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  17. I don't think I would have known to handle that as well as you did. I'm not even sure I would have shared the stupid things I did when I was younger for fear that he would interpret that as permission to continue to be a doofus. I think it's wonderful and amazing that you nurture the way you do. Ultimately, being open and honest with him can only encourage him to keep the lines of communication open.

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  18. HE:

    He got his psychological deconstruction today (March 18) from me. He doesn't need military school. I'm the ornery marine commandante now...

    Gautami:

    Yeah, but I want him to know it's not all about discipline and heavy-handedness...unless he forces that on himself...then I'll comply...

    Anna:

    Thanks, girl, that's kinda the plan. He isn't naturally good at school. He was diagnosed with ADD in kindergarten, but I've never wanted him (or me) to use that as an excuse.

    He needs plenty of positive encouragement and enabling. So he gets some lousy marks.

    What he doesn't need is just blind rage and disappointment. He needs positivity and the tools to learn how to do what he has to do.

    So I wanted to set myself up as a school doofus, to some extent, to show him that can be overcome and marks aren't everything.

    Because they aren't. But they sure help. And he can do it.

    :-)

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