I commented earlier about how "abandonment" occupies a hub of pain in my life. There is another hub, one of action, and that hub is filled with guilt. So here I am, posting, because I feel guilty of abandoment.
What's happening these days? The children are about to end their regular school year, next week beginning summer school. I will say it, I've said it before, I'm dreading getting these boys up for school for the next five weeks - I need a break from the cajoling, the nagging. They don't like waking in the morning and no matter what time they go to bed (like their mother), getting up is near-painful. But...but...I'm hoping summer school will be worth it. For A, I'm hoping it will make 3rd grade easier. For J, I'm hoping school will interest him.
I've decided to send J to our community college for two classes: study skills and movie-making. I'm hoping taking a class at a college campus might make the doldrums of sitting in a class more palatable. I'm hoping to psychologically fool him. I'm hoping he'll fare better than taking the remedial classes at his junior high that he's supposed to take because of the two "F's" he has in math and science. Yup...F. You have no idea the trauma this causes me. It's...unthinkable. It was unthinkable. He's getting these failing grades not because he doesn't know the material, but because he found it annoying to review material he already learned and on his own decided he didn't need to do various assignments. Just like that...those things were deemed extraneous.
Please know that I, with every bone in my body, wish my child for once would just CONFORM! Be a SQUARE PEG and jump into that square hole for the love of all that's holy! Individualism is bad, I say! Thinking out of the box...a major no-no! Follow the rules, you must, even rules you may refer to as "retarded"! Such as that one rule that required you to write a table of contents consisting of the titles of the assignments completed in class! Yes, it seems a preposterous waste of time, but re-writing needless information is good for you, plus it was worth 20% of your grade!
[insert heavy sigh along with a gulp of a morning-time martini]
I don't condone J's behavior. As a parent, wishing nothing but success for my child, I really DO wish he'd just do as he's asked no matter how dull and useless. No amount of punishment changes him, either. D and I have taken away everything and still he'll only listen to his own drummer. One might think, "Why, Adriana, don't you put him in the advanced classes?"
Because, I have since learned, the only difference between "Gate" classes and regular classes is that instead of having the "gifted" student do 20 long division problems, they have the student do 40. J will simply choose not to do the 40 questions instead of the 20. Hearing that, I looked into alternative middle school programs. I discovered that the only kinds of children who will get a better education, a more diverse education, the only kinds of children whose individuality are celebrated are those who live with parents who occupy the top 1% of the economic strata.
Well, great...so children of school teachers are doomed to this unimaginative educational system. No wonder California is in the bottom five of school systems across the country. No imagination.
Sure, sure, I could home-school. I could. I'll have to go into debt to buy curriculum, I'll have to go back to just teaching night school. All perfectly within the realm of possibility. J won't have it, though, because he enjoys the social world of junior high too much. And even if I were to join the home-schooling crowd and join the social activities in our area afforded to home-schoolers, that would mean J's new friends would be of the Christian-extreme brand. Not that such would be a bad thing, but as a home-schooler, I'd be looked down upon for not teaching J all about the New Testament and Creationism.
So back to independent enrichment. Nurturing of his independence. Did I mention that my daughter is very similar to J?
Calgon, take me away!
Update: I came across this link...this poor child is referring to quite the summer school program. My J would just flourish, with all those rules. Lordy. Pobrecito.
Update: Here's a story for you. A child dies following a 2-G ride, so far the reason for death is undetermined. As always, I was so sad for the family - what a terrible thing to have happen while on vacation. Just an awful tragedy. While I was feeling the sadness, though, I continued reading the article. Towards the end, I read about a woman who died of mini-strokes earlier this year while riding, "The Pirates of the Carribean." Imagine, you're walking into the light, earthen darkness is descending, the world is ending for you, paradise is on the cusp of your vision, gasp, gasp, yes, yes...almost there...all to the tune of, "Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me! Dah duh tah dah dah duh tah dah (repeat many times) ohhhh...Yo ho yo ho the pirates life for me!" Those of you who grew up in Los Angeles know the song, the repetitive music as you float along Disneyland's pirated caverns. I don't know, I just don't think that is the way I want to leave this plane of life.
Last thing...we had an earthquake today, on this fine Thursday, here in L.A.'s suburbs, a whopping 4.9 apparently. I now have earthquake anxiety thanks to my daughter sleeping in her chair, in front of our entertainment center, while the earth rocked. You should have seen me running like a mad woman to drag her out of danger's way. My nerves...my nerves. Criminy.