Thursday, December 1, 2011

Go Get 'Em, Tiger!!

Grade two has been a hard time for my little Q.  As an only child who is surrounded by adults who love and adore him and dote on him continuously, my son has developed somewhat of a 'fabulous' complex.  Now, I don't think this to be a bad thing, at all.  I think that soon enough, he'll doubt every move and decision he makes...well, if he's anything like me, he will...so if all these loving adults have the chance to build up his confidence now, I'm all for it.  He draws a picture, and we "oohhhh" and "awwwww" at some part of it...it's creativity, its colour scheme, something to make him feel proud of the work he's done.  He cleans his room and I comment on how fast or how thorough or how neat it looks when it's clean, something to teach him how good it feels to work at something and accomplish it well. 

In Kindergarten and Grade one, Q had teachers that were super nice and super encouraging.  They smiled all the time and interacted with the children on a one on one basis.  They were supportive and nurturing and the children learned at tables in a circle instead of at desks.  They were encouraged to play with the other children and structure, while it was there, was kept to a minimum and probably was there just to prevent utter chaos.

Mrs. J is Q's grade two teacher and she is scary.  She's old school.  She's just plain old, really.  I don't know much about her, because our teachers are on strike here in BC and they're working to rule, which doesn't affect anyone but the children as far as I'm concerned.  As part of their work to rule, there have been no parent/teacher interviews and in fact, I've heard from other mothers that teachers refuse to meet with parents at all, because it's considered to be extracurricular.  All I know of Mrs. J is what I see on Fridays when I drop Q off and pick him up, and of course from the mouth of my lil babe himself. 

The walls in the classroom are bare, she opens the door in the morning barely greeting the children and at the end of the day, the children see themselves out.  I don't think I've seen her smile once since September.  Q is terrified of her.  Every morning, he feigns some sort of illness, hoping against hope that I'll believe him finally and he'll get a day off.  And let me tell ya, every morning I just want to say he doesn't have to go to that big mean school with the big mean teacher.  Every morning, I hear, "I HATE school" every morning without fail. 

My heart aches for my poor little boy.  It's my job to protect him.  It's my job to make sure he's happy and well rounded and content.  He's just like his momma, with his nervous tummy and his knack for worrying about absolutely every single little detail about every single day.  That, combined with the fact that he's an introvert and keeps most of his thoughts to himself, I'm an emotional wreck.  He's going to need therapy for sure. 

But guess what....my kid is reading.  And we're not talking words like, 'it', 'and', or 'the'.  No, no, no we're talking big words.  Like real words and real sentences.  It's incredible!!!!!  It's amazing!!!!  It is like something in his brain just clicked and it all makes sense.  Sometimes, words come out of nowhere and I'm all like, "Huh?"  But for the most part, he's sounding words out and he's rocking it.  As far as I'm concerned, he could have very well skipped grade one.  The math skills that he has now (are awesome!!) were already there in Kindergarten and reading, well....that was non-existent. 

I want to be able to explain to Q that yes, he's going through a very difficult time.  Yes, his teacher is a little scary.  Yes, she demands a lot.  And she expects a lot from him.  But holy moly kiddo, you're rising to the challenge.  You're meeting her expectations, you're exceeding them I'm sure on some days.  Look at what you're learning, look at what you've learned.  You're reading!!!!!  Like books and shit!!  It is amazing, this  whole new world has opened up for you. 

But of course, I try to explain this all to Q and he looks at me like I've got three heads.  It doesn't sink in yet.  He just replies with a 'but I HATE school."  So, if I can't tell him so that he understands, I'm gonna tell you instead...

What you're going through right now, it might be hard.  It might be really, really difficult.  You might think that no one understands, and no one cares and that there is no end in sight.  But holy moly kiddo.  Look at you!!!  You're rocking it.  You're getting through it every single day and you're learning more and more about yourself and the world around you with every trial you face, every single day.  And I'm so proud of you.  I'm proud of you for throwing those blankets off every morning and facing the day, because ya...sometimes it's super hard.  But you are amazing.  You might not understand the "why" right now, but if you allow yourself to learn from this hardship, your life will never be the same.  I promise you that.

Now, go get 'em tiger!  Sometimes, it takes a lesson from a 7 year old to remind us what we're made of. 

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