Saturday, January 14, 2012

He'll Thank Me

He asked me not to write about his getting in trouble for Behavioral Notification #3, but he'll thank me down the road, when we live far apart and he's bumping up against thirty-eight with a slightly broken heart over at least one dream deferred.

He'll thank me that I wrote down how I punished him because I wanted him to really feel: every bad decision has consequence as its middle name (forgiveness as its last).

He'll thank me for writing how it bothered me to think of his going to bed crying only to awaken and walk out the door for school and Daddy's and karate and Daddy's again before returning here, so--when the alarm failed to sound for some mysterious reason--I received it as a sign.

I let him sleep in a little; I filled his belly with blueberry pancakes and grapefruit; I corralled his baby sisters; and I sat down with him at our rickety, formica table to work on fractions. Because it dawned on me: I shouldn't give up after-school hours so he can work on fractions.

Someone else needs to give up hours. Whose kid is he, anyway? How can it be that a "talented and gifted" math student can't learn fractions during school hours? What a bunch of horsecrap.

I'll teach him fractions during school hours.

His kindergarten year, I taught others' sons sixth grade. I blinked, and my son headed off for sixth grade. I'll blink, again; he'll leave for college.

I'm not ready. And I'm sick of giving up hours.

Someday my son will thank me for realizing (and writing): he needs to be with me. I want to be with him. I haven't plans to homeschool, but I do have plans to reclaim hours from unnecessary places.

I loved having him home, today, to eat pancakes and work on fractions and pack up Christmas decorations. I loved overhearing him say: "Now you know, Clementine, that Jesus is always much more important than Santa Claus, right?"

And, later, her following him up the stairs, saying: "Be careful, Cade. I'm right behind you to help if the box gets too heavy."

He'll thank me for writing these things when we live far apart and he's bumping up against thirty-eight with a slightly broken heart over at least one dream deferred.

And he'll thank me face-to-face, because he'll hear the doorbell and peer out...swing wide the door to receive me off his stoop. I'll have arrived to offer words for his slightly broken heart. These words...and these: no distance is too great, and I'll never love another more than I love you.

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