Friday, November 27, 2009

My Studly and Me

It would seem that I have only one child, because I have only mentioned my son, "Studly", a time or two. But it is quite the contrary. There have been many occasion for me to dote on him and his accomplishments; I just have to share computer time with my dear husband as well, and so I haven't made the time to dwell on my son. But I am now!

I have actually set down several times and started typing this out... but for whatever reason (kids complaining, food needing to be prepared, floors needing to be vacuumed or clothes getting up and walking out asking that I please wash them) I have not been able to complete my thoughts.

I need to share something near to my heart concerning Studly. He has recently entered the time of young adulthood. (I do not believe in teenager years. That is a term engineered to allow a child to be excused from responsibility for several years, and I do not agree with it. But I will save that ranting for another day.) Studly is beginning to find his place in the world of responsibility and freedom. He is learning that hard work and giving your best, not meer half-effort, are necessary building blocks in a young man; qualities he can develop throughout his life.

He is not always eager to learn such lessons. But who is? It requires sacrifice and willingness to admit 'you' don't always have the answer. It requires placing trust in others to accomplish tasks so they can learn to better themselves. It requires patience (ugh, a dirty word, I know) and lots and lots of practice. But he is giving a good effort, none the less, and we are proud of him!

He demonstrated this a few weeks ago. One of his friends invited him over to 'hang out'. Now you have to remember that we are home schooling this year. It is with the K12 program, so it is 'public school' at home. (If that just sounds weird to you, the website is and you can look into it more.) We have the same guidelines for time spent in the "classroom" each day as do public schools, but with home schooling freedoms.

Studly's friend was to be at home, and not at school the next day, in celebration of Veteran's Day. He begged and pleaded with me to allow him to skip school for this adventure. His reasoning was that he was making sufficient effort in his classes and that he should be allowed this freedom. I, on the other hand, completely disagreed. He was doing what was required of him. I asked him, "If I show up to work each day, as I am supposed to, does that obligate my boss to reward me for doing what was expected?" Absolutely NOT! My reward was the satisfaction of knowing I had fulfilled my obligation. Now, if I had made the effort to go above and beyond what was required, then a reward would not be out-of-line. But, I would not expect to receive an award; that would be at the discretion of my employer.

He was not too fond of this; as none of us are. We all want to give little and expect a lot. What fun is there in expending a large amount of effort when we can do meager and satisfy status quo? Again, I want more than just enough for my kids. I want them to give their best in all they do and not let status quo be their standard.

So Studly reluctantly agreed to MY conditions. (Seriously? Did he really think a 12 year old would set the terms?) He was to complete all of his lessons for that day and the day of the 'hang out', and do so with a positive attitude. If he accomplished this, then he would be allowed to spend the next day with his friend. And so he did.

He left the next morning at 8 AM and arrived back that evening a little after 6 PM. I was on the computer completing some tasks when he entered the office. He wrapped his arms around my neck and laid his head on my shoulders. He stayed there for about 3 to 4 minutes before I finally asked if everything was okay? He kept his head on my shoulder and replied, "I'm fine; I just missed you mom." My heart melted into his hug and I sighed a sigh of relief. I had not been too harsh. I was what he needed me to be, and he was better for it.

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