SOMWaD: History Repeating Itself
It was not an easy Friday night in our house. Why else would I be sitting in front of a computer at 3:30ish on a Friday night/Saturday morning unable to sleep? (In all fairness I did sleep earlier, but my eyes snapped open around 2 and for the past hour and a half I have been tossing and up and down and wondering what I could do at this hour in the morning that might actually be somewhat productive. Writing seemed like the only thing I could do.)
Late Friday afternoon I went to pick up my son from a friend's house. Usually after work on a Friday it's time for the family to do their weekly grocery shopping, but the weather was bad so I decided to put it off. Good thing because just seconds after my son got into the car and got situated he told me, "I did bad on my math test" and the tears started to flow.
If you’ve followed my writings at all, you already know that this transition from elementary school to middle school has been a difficult one. The changes and responsibilities that come along with middle school have been a challenge. The biggest challenge has been math.
My husband has worked with him on his homework. (The only homework he really helps him with for the most part.) We’ve reviewed multiplication flashcards on the weekends. He's frequently gone after class to get help. (Along with a lot of other kids, so I am told.) He IS trying. I don't know if he's trying his best, but he IS trying. But most of all he is frustrated, stressed and upset.
It's history repeating itself all over again. Not his history, although he has had problems with math previously. We are well aware that it's his weak subject. It is MY history. In him I see my history of math class. It may be well over 30 years ago, but I do remember hating math. (And I do not use that word lightly.) I got through it in middle school. (I vaguely remember some problems towards the end of 7th grade and in 8th grade.) I managed in freshman and sophomore year of high school. I passed, but I never excelled. And then towards the end of my junior year the bottom fell out. I struggled and I HATED it. I was an honor student and I was getting Ds in math. I got a tutor. She was a very nice lady, but I don't know how much she helped. I finished out the year with a D for the last marking period and a D on the final exam. Somehow, overall I believe I managed to get a C for the year. (Those report cards probably still do exist somewhere in my parent's house, but who wants to go back and dig for them?) Thankfully, senior year did not require math and you can be sure that I didn't take it. In college, I was only required to take two math classes for my major. I gritted my teeth and I did them and that was that. I'd put in my time and my struggle was over.
Now history repeats itself. I see the struggle in my son. I see what math does to him. I understand the tears and the frustration. As a mom all I want to do is make it better. But I'm no help to him. I had my own struggles. The only thing I can do is find him someone who can help him and thankfully a friend has given me the name of a tutor who has helped her daughter.
So I sit here in the dark in front of computer writing. I hear my son tossing in his sleep so I know that this is weighing heavily on his mind. An hour or so into his meltdown, while things were calming down a bit and after he'd taken a dose of Tylenol because his head hurt (no wonder), he was lying down with a cold compress on his head and he said, "I'm so stressed out." I don't want my 10 year old son to be stressed out. I especially don't want him to be continually stressed out over math. I don't want history to repeat itself.
I'm sitting here, writing and thinking. I'm hoping that the tutor will call me back this weekend. I'm hoping that she can fit us into her schedule and help my son. I'm a mom; I don't want him to struggle. I want him to face challenges and difficulties with confidence. I don't expect him to excel at a subject that is difficult for him and that he doesn't like, but I do want him to get through it and know that he CAN do it. I don't want this to weigh him down and be what he remembers when he thinks back on his school experience. I don't want MY history to repeat itself in him.