By now, most of your kids will be back in school, whether that be in a formal school setting or a homeschool.
Let me just share that the transition into middle and high school has been REALLY REALLY HARD! Did I just yell that? Ooooops. I’m suppose to be mindful and calm… or something like that. <wink>
Well… like all life struggles, these situations invite us into presence and inquiry if we are brave and committed to the hard work of waking up. Seriously… I may have struggles, and they may at times really get me down… but it’s not long before I look at them deeply, and get curious about what they have to teach me.
For instance, my high schooler has more homework than is at all reasonable some evenings. He’s also learning to get into the groove of a catholic school for the first time. Plus, he’s fifteen. And fifteen just comes with its own set of dilemmas.
I have been hearing a lot of bemoaning about how he has too much homework… not followed by much action planning on how he is going to manage it (and of course get the info he missed during class from a classmate). Let me also add that this is a young man diagnosed with ADD, slow processing, and memory issues, who happens to be tenacious, wise, and absolutely brilliant. (but can you really trust a biased mother’s account?)
So here is the conversation we had last week. Prior to starting this conversation and throughout, I was focusing on my breath and asking myself the question…what’s most important now?
Son: I have too much homework. It’s ridiculous.
Mom: Agreed. Too much. My heart hurts with you on how difficult this is sometimes. But nothing we can do about the required output. What’s next? What is here for you to learn?
Son: Ugh. I knew you would say that.
Mom: Are you willing to hear what I imagine you can learn over the next couple of years?
Son: Do I have a choice in listening to this?
Mom: Not so much really. Here goes… You are smart enough and wise enough
to figure this out, but it is going to require you to grow. How you ask will you grow? I’m so glad you asked! You will learn to speak up and advocate for yourself. You will learn to manage your time more wisely, meaning no listening to 90’s hip hop while you are doing your homework. You will learn to go to sleep by 10pm because your allowance will depend on it. Yes I am bribing you to get a good nights sleep. You will learn what you are really made of.
Son: You are talking to that quote on my wall. The one from Martin Luther King.
Mom: Ahhh Yes. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” So here you are… in a time of challenge. Now you get to know yourself better. And I’ll be here supporting you, while being equally fascinated as to how this all turns out and affects who you are as a young man. And I think you are awesome just as you are right now. I love you. And I will not request a hug, but I reserve the right to do so at some point in the near future.
Son: Mom… you are awesome too. And such a weirdo
I’m hoping you are reading this and thinking… oh man… poor you. The start of school has been a breeze over here. What a bummer to be acting as your sons executive functioning two to four hours a night. Alas…it’s true. But we are making progress each day, growing closer together, and I get to give him the kind of support that was so elusive to me in high school. This has been healing all around.
I’m assuming that we all have some struggle going on, and I hope my reflections supported you in some way that you can relate to. Do tell! I love to hear from you!
PS- Tyler got his braces off just after the attached photo was taken so I will leave you at the edge of your seat to see his new smile in a future blog post. Can you see the love for his momma on that face? Or does he seem to be saying…really mom? Another selfie? LOL!