Friday, November 30, 2012

Shatter the Glass Wall

"Give up," my husband said to me the other night.

He surprises me, sometimes.

This is the context: we took Nic to get certified for weight class in wrestling the other night. Nic left before they did the BMI test, so his submission was incomplete.  His coach called and asked us to come back.

Nic was in his flannels and tee shirt for the night. Hubby was done, in more ways than one.

I am not one to let a minor detail like that stop me.  I told Nic to get his jacket on, we're going.

He was too surprised to protest.

So we entered the phalanx of kids in the middle school hallway, Nic oblivious of the stares, and I suddenly get what hubby balked over. I am that mom, and Nic is that kid. And there was nothing left for me to do but hold my head high while I waited for Nic to complete what we came for.

The silence that followed us down the hall as we left was deafening.

And hubby was predictably mortified.

But for all this, there are several things to remember. People are going to talk anyway. People will look for things to talk about, anyway.  So why disappoint?  Who cares?

The reason I want Nic to do this is because he needs to learn teamwork. Wrestling is something he's shown interest in. He *wants* to try this. And I think that the pay off, that he will at long last create a peer group for himself at school that will not look at him as *that kid*, but as a fellow teammate, some one to watch out for,  and maybe Nic could learn to watch out for his friends, too.

The only outcome I expect is that he enjoy himself. And if this doesn't work, there's theater. And skiing. And track.

All of the sudden, what lies on the other side of the driveway somehow does not look unobtainable, anymore. Not to say that we don't struggle, or won't continue to struggle, but when I see what we've already been through, I'm pretty optimistic.

It helps that both kids have parties to look forward to the next couple of weeks. My little one has been invited to more parties in the next two weeks than he has the three years leading up to now. And Nic's new friend invited him and Gabriel to a family gathering next week.

We're getting there.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

How High Can You Count?

It's been a while since I've had an update; it's not been for the lack of activity so much as the lack of time to sit down, reflect, and write. The days are packed, and I'm re-evaluating current programs for both kids.

Nic is doing well in 7th grade, in spite of himself. Predictably, Executive Function is tripping him up, as is his lack of social finesse. But he's gone to two dances so far this year, bowls, swims, plays soccer and just started CYO basketball. I'm trying to talk him into giving wrestling a try.

Gabriel takes violin and piano lessons in addition to scouts (top popcorn seller in his Pack for the second year in a row; top seller in his den third year in a row). bowling (no bumpers: in Nic's league this year), swimming and soccer. He starts CYO basketball next month.

Sometimes, the social deficit thing overwhelms me. I remind myself constantly to stop comparing; no one is on this particular road but me and my boys; everyone else has his or her own journey, and I don't know what their journeys are about. So stop.

It's so hard to stop when the grass looks greener on the other side of the driveway. But I must.

I can almost hear every teacher I ever had telling me, "Keep your eyes on your own paper."

Yeah. It's like that.

I am amazed at how much ground we've covered; I am painfully aware of how much farther we need to go.

And there is no choice but to keep going.