Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Better late than never - here's a post for my Bug

I failed so miserably at that last attempt to blog about my kids. I didn't even make it through three kids. Damn.

I did start on Bug's post. I started and stopped, started and stopped. Because Bug is more of a challenge to me. Bug is so different than the other two. Munchkin and Goober are ready to take on the world, head first, while Bug is reserved and cautious. Munchkin and Goober have little fear of failure while Bug would rather stay safe in his comfort zone than possibly fail at something.

Bug has always needed more nudging than the other two and he is quick to quit things if the going gets tough. And that's partially my fault.

I've heard people say that your first child is your practice child and as much as I hate to admit it, it's really true. I have grown up with Bug. We've learned so much together. When Bug started playing flag football at 6 years old I let him quit. It was such a nasty, wet, humid, stormy, muddy, dirty summer and neither of us wanted to go to practices. Bug would cry that it was so hot and I couldn't help but agree with him. So I let him quit.

Then when he was in cub scouts we found ourselves in a pack that was sadly more concerned with the politics among the parents and den leaders than about the kids. Bug wasn't having any fun and I didn't want to deal with the ridiculousness, so we quit. We could have found a different pack and tried again, but instead we just quit.

I haven't often forced Bug to stick with things and that hasn't helped him much.  I have made many mistakes with him.

Bug is my genius. His brain is amazing. The way he thinks is so different than my other children. He understands principles of physics - things that make my own brain hurt - and he gets it. He has theories and invents things and wonders how things work.

But Bug can't be bothered with all those other subjects our society deems to be important - like English and Social Studies. Trying to get his brilliant brain to focus on something so tedious as grammar and the capital of Peru has been our biggest struggle. So much that I got a call from his Language Arts teacher about a week before school was ending to let me know that Bug would not be passing her class.

Sadly, on the Monday after school was out and most kids were going to the beach or sports camp or vacation, I was driving Bug to school to start summer school.

I don't know if any of you ever had to take summer school. I did. I had to repeat Algebra II before my senior year of high school. My Algebra II class was held in a classroom at another high school and taught by a teacher. For 6 hours every day we learned Algebra and took tests. It took a full two weeks, Monday through Friday, to complete one semester, or four weeks if you were unfortunate enough to have to repeat the whole year. We were allowed to miss one day per semester in case of illness.

Things have changed. For Language Arts they put Bug in front of a computer and he had to go through all the lessons on his own. He had 8 days, from 8:30 to 3:30 to complete it at his own pace.

At 2:30 on day 2 (TWO) I got a call from the front office at the middle school letting me know I could come pick Bug up because he had passed Language Arts with an A.

I don't even know where to go with that. Is he a super genius or is summer school a joke? Either way, he's on to 8th grade in August.

Bug's struggles with the public school system is really fodder for a whole other post, or book. It is with Bug that I have realized that the school system, while great for most kids, really doesn't work for certain types of children. My Bug is one of them.

I'm trying to correct my mistakes with Bug. Recently I encouraged him to get back into Boy Scouts and so far he really enjoys it. My own qualms with Boy Scouting needed to be put aside for the betterment of my child, (I'm sure you can guess what my own issues might be) and I'm pretty sure I've made the right decision. It's great to see him find some success and some good friends and feel like a member of a group that encourages him. His new scout leaders are great people and his fellow boy scouts all seem to be great young men that are going places and proud to be themselves.

We'll get him through school. My brain is flooded with the possibilities for him. He is exceptional.