Looking for Attention in All the Wrong Places
Take one smart boy and add several undefinable learning issues. Fold in testosterone and a flare for entertaining. Add a smidge of defiance. Place him in a high school and don’t focus on his strengths. Mix until perfectly blended.
Now, buckle your seat belt, Sweetheart, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
I (this is Martha) have saved every disciplinary notice, every mid-marking period notice and every crappy report card (and when I say crappy, I don’t mean B – C crappy……I mean F crappy) because even though these notices are “dicey,” they are connected to my son, whom I adore.
This is what I felt like every time I entered the school for one of my many, many, many meetings……
….. countless sessions in which I was informed of my son’s “outrageous” behavior with sweat trickling down my back, cotton mouth and heart pounding. My son was every kid’s dream and every teacher’s nightmare…….and I could tell exactly what they thought: I was a “sh**ty” mom.
I have been greeted with surprised gasps upon introducing myself as “Jimmy’s” mother, and even the local convenience store owner had a few….uh….”rich” comments regarding my son’s notoriety. (The store owner was very sympathetic, actually!)
I have a pile of notices in front of me. It is only the tip of the iceberg, but, here are a few of the more … ummmmmm … “entertaining” ones.
“Openly insulted me in front of the class, calling me stupid.”
“Pulled Mike’s pants down during class.”
“Would not stay in seat after repeated warnings. Also continued asking senseless questions over and over.” (If memory serves me correctly, he was permanently thrown out of that class.)
“Disruptive in class!” (That was a repeated very popular one)
“Googled inappropriate images. 3 warnings.”
My son was told by the guidance counselor he would never go to college…….
The day he got INTO college, I wrote this:
“At the risk of sounding corny, I have learned that if you keep at it and keep at it, even if it takes years and years and it feels like you are bailing water out of a sinking ship and no one has faith in what you have set out to do…….if you stay strong and keep pushing, you can achieve what feels like a miracle.”
Now, take one smart boy with undefinable learning issues. Believe that his possibilities are endless. Focus on his strengths. Help him to use his powers for good. Say “yes” when others say “no.” Simmer for years.