Last night I picked up Brody’s homework to check it with a little bit of dread. It was a worksheet that required you to read a passage and answer questions based on the presented information. Simple enough. Entirely age appropriate. Should be no problem.
Except that last week it was.
Last week it was about pumpkins and we had to re-do the whole darn thing with both of us getting increasingly frustrated and Brody yelling that he got the answers wrong because “I don’t know how to read!”
He totally knows how to read.
He has known how to read since before he could speak, but this excuse is an old favorite of his. One afternoon a few years ago, I was met at the carpool line by a new teacher of his. She was there to introduce herself and let me know that Brody had told her he didn’t know how to read and she would be working diligently with him on it. She has since grown wise to his act. Well, most of the time at least. I wasn’t sure whether to yell at him or sign him up for child acting classes since his performance was, apparently, so convincing.
(A little background for those reading this that might not be friends or family: Brody didn’t really speak until he was six years old and at that point it was still just words or small phrases. He’ll try to tell you he was five, but he’s wrong. Trust me, it was six. It’s impossible for me to forget. There were a lot of tears and sleepless nights wondering if we would ever hear our child speak to us. If you’ve been around Brody anytime in the last couple of years, you no longer have to wonder if God has a sense of humor. The child will not shut up. Like, ever. Silence only happens when he sleeps and even then it’s only part of the time.)
No, it’s simple, Brody doesn’t enjoy reading and for the most part just doesn’t care about his grades. This is alien to me.
Libraries are some of my favorite places. I always have a book with me and my idea of a perfect day is a comfortable chair, a good drink (coffee or wine, most likely) and a book. Not wanting to read doesn’t compute with me. Nor does not worrying about your grades. My parents always just encouraged me to do my best. However, in my mind, if my best wasn’t at least similar to everyone else’s best, I was a failure. (For my own sanity, I had to adjust this when algebra entered my world. I’m real dumb when it comes to math. Brody’s not. We seem to be hitting a scholastic trend.)
Being Brody’s mom has required me to shift my ways of thinking in many, many ways. And that’s a good thing. I’m having to learn that a little problem isn’t the end of the world. While that way of thinking is hard (so, so hard) for me, it’s a lesson I needed. That being said, c’mon, the kid could care more about his school work. Even if it’s just a little bit.
Okay, back to where I started (I know, finally…). I picked up Brody’s paper and started to mentally prepare for battle. Except I didn’t have to. The child had every single answer correct. He had done this completely on his own, in all of about five minutes, and it was perfect! I was ecstatic. And then it hit me.
The answers were all correct because this time the passage wasn’t about pumpkins or fairy tales. No, it was about football. Something he actually cares about. And then something else hit me. When you marry a man (I’ll preface this by saying a really awesome man) who doesn’t enjoy reading and doesn’t get hung up on grades but who can tell you ANYTHING you want to know about sports… well… I think you probably get my point.
And now I have to make peace with the realization that my win/loss record in this house isn’t going to be a good one.