Proud Mom; Happy Mom

Who doesn't like to brag about their child(ren)?  God knows I DO!  I probably do a bit too much, but...

Since life moves so quickly and things change on a dime, indulge me in my celebration of my son in his first marking period of high school, received all As and Bs in his courses.  Allow me to revel in the fact that all the comments that teachers made were positive.  (Even if they were impersonal as they were selected from column A or B.)  For once things seem to be working.  (Should I have NOT uttered that aloud or on the page?)  Our family screaming matches, while still existent, have been cut down dramatically.  (For me that's a win.)

But for me, the biggest wins and what fills me with relief and elation are two comments that my son made over this past quarter.

Comment #1:  I kind of like French.

This is from the kid who struggled for 3 years in middle school.  He goofed off.  He didn't do assignments.  He didn't like his teacher.  (And she didn't like him; there was only one French teacher for the entire school so he had her for 3 years).)  He wasn't engaged.  We had an incredible tutor; our cousin who teaches French.  She engaged him.  She got him through those middle school years.  But he didn't like it.

When the time came for high school, we told him he could start fresh with a new language, but he decided to stay with French.  I will admit to being proactive (does this make me a helicopter mom?) and told the high school French teacher of his past issues.  (I always figured forewarned is forearmed.)  She seemed like a fair person when I met her at back to school night.  Her class was small (which is why there is only one French teacher for the entire high school) and she said that students HAD to speak in her class. (I get this; how else are you going to really learn the language).  She also said that she knew how scary it was to speak a foreign language and that clearly must have come across in her teaching.

I don't know what she's done or how she's done it, but after years of struggle and dislike, my son pulled B+ for the first marking period WITHOUT any help.  More important, were those words:  I kind of like French.  To me this is the ultimate compliment to the teacher.  Maybe he won't do as well this marking period; maybe he'll do even better.  Most important to me is that he kind of likes it.  Thank you Madame!

Comment #2:  I miss rehearsal.  I am definitely doing the spring musical. 

Let me just say now, that I had to "force" the kid to audition for the fall show (Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors.")  Of course I did have help from his drama teacher and I'm so grateful that his first semester elective was drama.  He'd never done "serious" theater before; mostly stand-up comedy and improv.  He'd never actually had to audition for something and he didn't want to.  But "forcing" him was the right thing to do and that much was evident when he texted me during his lunch break the day after the final auditions"  "Mom I made it."  He was the only freshman boy in the cast; the fact of which he would proudly announce more than once.  It was a small part, which was a perfect way to be introduced to the world of high school theater.

He LOVED the entire experience.  Not just the applause at the end of the show (although that was a big part of it), but having daily rehearsals and making new friends.  Friends that could drive; which was helpful for after show meals at a variety of diners.  He's found new friends and mentors. This somewhat of a loner kid was becoming part of something and having a heck of a time doing it.  

While I am thrilled and proud of his grades, they won't last forever.  (Although I'm doing my best to keep him on this path.)  What makes my heart sing is him finding his place in high school.  His enjoying new things and not being afraid to let me know.  He is living the life that I always wanted him to lead; focused on academics, but more importantly finding and experiencing his passions.


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