December 13, 2009

Am I?

I evidently didn't get it right the first go round in High School. I am now the expert in all Algebra II. Let me tell you, I am GOOD. I can also now tell you about the Phonecians, the Byzantine Empire, the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, the Hindus, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists and I can add on Confuscious. I can expound upon Henry II, Urban II, Queen Isabella, the Magna Carta, the eightfold path, the five pillars of faith, Charlemagne, and Otto the Great.

From the early civilizations at 2000 BC up to Queen Isabella... I have learned it all tonight.

Or what I could.

My son has a mid-term in his Eastern Western Civlization class, the Honors class taught at his school. Let me tell you something now, this is NOTHING like I took in High School.

Good Lord.

I am telling you, it is INTENSE. He is comparing religions, cultures, and people. He's learning who did what to whom and why. He has to not only answer the questions, but write a paper.

He is not in public school. I went to public school. NOTHING I took in public school came close to what my son is studying. He is having to bust his ass.

He thought he was going to fail this test until I stepped in today and told him to take a deep breath and that I'd help him with his study guide. He has an A in the class this quarter. How does a kid make a B and an A and then fail the exam?

But I looked at his review sheet and sure enough, it was SO detailed on what he HAD to know, it was a real possibility he was going to fail. So I studied with him.

He feels better. I feel smarter. I wonder how kids do it today. It is much more intense than it was when I was in high school.

I was wondering today, did I appreciate Christmas and our lives when my children were little? Did I fully appreciate that we so got into it that our house was the most decorated home in the neighborhood? That I called FPL once and wondered if we needed a power pole just for our home? The constant Christmas music and cookies, and... happiness of my children? Of us?

Did I appreciate it? Did I stand back and take a deep breath and want to not forget the moment?

Did I?

Because I don't remember.

Because now Christmas is my working so much, pulling kids from one lesson to another, driving kids to school, helping with homework, and trying to get in shopping, baking, decorating.

And it's not so fun.

I'm stressed. I'm stressed trying to hide it all from my kids. I'm stressed trying to make it all transparent, to keep the holidays wonderful for them as I struggle to stay sane.

My eldest has stepped up to the plate. He goes outside to help with yardwork, he is learning to ride the mower so he can cut the lawn, he comes inside and washes dishes for me, sets the table for the big Sunday family dinner, tells his brothers to quiet down and leave us alone as we're busy, reminds me I have to put the angel on the Christmas tree, as I cook dinner and clean.

I look at my son, who informed me the other day in all seriousness that he may want to be a heart surgeon, but that could change to anything tomorrow, I assure you, and I realize that he's growing up and soon I won't be driving him to school. I won't have him making me laugh in the car with his crazy stories from class or lunch. I won't be helping him make outlines about the Byzantine Empire. He won't be saying, 'No. Mom. Stop' as I try to come up with a new name for his band that doesn't exist.

And I wonder. Am I appreciating it enough? Through all the stress that I have, fighting the migraines and the eye twitches and the worry, am I appreciating the wonderful things as well?

Am I?

Posted by Boudicca at December 13, 2009 09:55 PM

The fact that you're thinking about it suggests to me that you are.

Posted by: Jim - PRS at December 14, 2009 02:26 AM

You get an extra cup of hot chocolate tonight!

Posted by: Sam at December 14, 2009 07:35 AM

What Jim said.
And what a good boy that eldest is, you are obviously doing a bang up job with the boys - cut yourself a little slack :)

Posted by: patti at December 14, 2009 12:29 PM

Like Jim said, you're blogging about it, so you must appreciate it, particularly the helpfulness of your eldest, rare amongst today's teenagers. I hope you do a little something extra to make him know his efforts are not unnoticed.

Posted by: diamond dave at December 14, 2009 07:50 PM

Sounds like one hell of a kid to me. I have two friends who have an oldest son like that. Really pitches in without asking and tried to help make it happen.

One of them has even stepped in now that he is in his 30's and has started taking over having the family celebrations at his home and is trying to make it as much like his parents did it as possible so that nothing gets lost. Don't know how to make it happen but when it does you really appreciate the kids even more. You really have done a great job. I haven't met your kids but just from the way they do not try to hide things from you, good, bad or indifferent, tells me you did it right;

Posted by: dick at December 14, 2009 08:27 PM

.... your kids are very, very lucky to have a Mama like you!.... very lucky, indeed..... .

Posted by: Eric at December 14, 2009 10:17 PM

I'm really happy with the man that Ringo is becoming. We had some seriously rocky years for about 3 years where it could have gone either way. All of it was outside influences and an atmosphere I couldn't remove him from, but he seems to have learned from it all and in the end, he came out ahead.

I need to do some posting on Mr. T. He's cracking me up lately, but by the time I have time to get on, I'm too exhausted.

Posted by: bou at December 14, 2009 11:21 PM

I'm stressed trying to hide it all from my kids. I'm stressed trying to make it all transparent, to keep the holidays wonderful for them as I struggle to stay sane.

Wow, I hear you on that! (Take at least one little break, please!)

Posted by: PeggyU at December 15, 2009 01:51 AM

Aren't you glad you're sending your kids to private schools?

Posted by: Denny at December 15, 2009 10:59 PM

Because of your love and involvement, your kids are growning up to be awesome young adults. You are doing a great job, and trust me, they will always remember and appreciate all your blood, sweat and tears! You are doing a great job Bou!

Posted by: Mary at December 15, 2009 11:14 PM

I was thinking, while this is still fresh in your mind you might want to hit the game show circuit and see if you can pick up some Christmas cash. I could see you on Jeopardy.

Posted by: PeggyU at December 17, 2009 01:07 PM