Monday, September 29, 2008

Bumpy road

Sometimes in your life, you want to curl up in a ball, put the blanket on top of you, and forget about life. Parenting is hard, harder than I ever imagined. I'm sure it's hard for everyone but lately, it seems like we're very alone with our very naughty boy.

He had a bad Friday. We got a note from PE. He wasn't listening. I got another note today, from the lunchroom monitor. He was acting crazy. Apparently, his teacher taped the note to his sticker folder so I would be sure to get it. Somehow, Samuel took the note and crumpled it up before we got a chance to see it. When I picked him up from school, he said, "I had a great day today. I stayed on warning one." I took his word. "I didn't even get a note in my bag today." Again, I believed him. We then went to the park for a meet and greet with his class. "Is Mrs D. going to be there?" "You aren't going to talk to her, are you? So he knew he was busted.

The school is scheduling a conference. I know they are scared to mention ADD, but I know it's coming. Samuel is a highly creative and energetic kid. Maybe he has a learning disability that is frustrating him. Maybe he is indeed ADD. Maybe he wants to fight the system some more until he finally gives in and gives up. Maybe he is realizing that his charming personality no longer works to manipulate and get his own way. Maybe he needs to be broken. But can he be broken without having his amazing spirit broken? Can you tell that I feel a bit lost?

I have doing some research about the four goals of misbehavior, attention, power, display of inadequacy and revenge. What is Samuel trying to get from misbehaving? If it's not chemical and he truly can control himself, why is he making these choices?

Both George and I are trying hard to be conscientious parents. I know we make our fair share of mistakes and lately I have been beating myself up pretty badly about what we could have done differently. But then, I take a few deep breaths, and look at this amazingly cool kid we have. He might not fit into the school mold. Heck, he might not fit into society's mold. But I know that he will be ok. Sure, school might be a rocky adventure. But can you think of any truly great man in history that had an easy time in life? No, true character does not come from skating through life. These bumps in Samuel's rocky road will be building his character. As long as he keeps on the path with our loving guide, he will be fine.