Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tea, Toast, and Razor Scooters

Sixth grade was a tough year for my son—too much tedious homework and too little joy.  I told my dad about his struggle on the phone part way through the school year, and he suggested that we offer him a reward for making it through a tough situation.  Any time he had an overwhelming amount of homework on a school night, he was supposed to mark it on the calendar, and at the end of the school year, he could trade in all of his frustration for a reward: something big, my dad said, something worth working for.   We decided on a Razor scooter, something my son had been wanting that we couldn’t afford.  There was one catch: no complaining.  Many nights that year, my son stomped down the stairs, made an angry “x” on the calendar and stomped back up, but overall, life was more peaceful.  And now, instead of remembering a bad year in school, he remembers a clever, loving grandpa.  I needed some help solving that problem, but most of the other little troubles of childhood, I could fix with tea and toast or a colorful Band-aid or a night of pizza and videos.  One of the hard things about being the parent of adult children is that now when they are sad or sick or lonely or frustrated or heartbroken, I can’t fix things—the troubles are too big or the pain too deep.  I can pray for them and encourage them.  I can listen and offer advice.  But mostly they have to get better or figure things out on their own. I realized, though, when telling this story, that when my dad found a way to help my son through his sixth grade year, he ended up helping me, too.  So maybe my days of fixing things for my kids aren't completely over either.

No comments:

Post a Comment