Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My (not so) little boy

Two things on my mind tonight, both having to do with my big guy, who is just getting bigger and bigger. As a result, the topics we're dealing with are also getting bigger and bigger. First, the bad news... just because I want to get it out of the way. My poor skinny little eight-year-old got punched for the first time today. We don't have the whole story yet, just the JAM version (which we learned very quickly to not use as the definitive truth - he's as bad a story teller as his poor 'ol Dad), so we're waiting to hear back from his school tomorrow. The new Vice Principal is on the case, and she is just the best thing ever, so I know we'll get the whole story from her.

But, from what we can gather from JAM, it was a pretty out of the blue thing. The bus pulled up to JAM's stop and he stood up and tried to get out of the seat. He was sitting against the window in a seat with two other kids as his bus is always packed to the gills and they sit three to a seat. When he got up to try to leave the kid next to him turned around and nailed him in the right cheek. That's the story we got. No premeditation, no pushing or shoving, no nasty words, just a shot straight to the face. I'm sure you can see why I'm waiting to hear if there is more to the story. Who knows, it may just have been a really bad day for this sixth grader (yes, a sixth grader punched my third grader in the face!!!!), they might have had words getting on the bus, JAM might have shoved him accidentally while trying to grab his backpack, but there is no call for something like that. It took some calm breathing on my part when I got the call from Wifey while I was still at work. Father's first reaction is to protect you know?

I'll update tomorrow hopefully. I just wish other parents were spending as much time trying to raise good kids as we are. And no, I don't feel bad about saying that at all, I live in this community, I see the garbage around me every day. We try to help JAM understand what it means to make good choices every single moment of the day, even when adults aren't around. I want to raise my kid to be a good person. Trying to do that in an area surrounded by questionable family values is just so tough.

Now, on to the good stuff (but unfortunately, even the good stuff comes with a lot of hurt for Mom and Dad).

We got a very interesting piece of mail the other day. It seems JAM's teacher, who until this point has not given us any indication that she cares at all for our child, nominated him to attend something called the National Young Scholars Program. I'm still trying to find out what this thing is (first reaction was thinking this was something like those Who's Who deals where anyone can send in $25 to get their name in a book), but from what I've read of the materials they sent to us I'm impressed. The program is a week-long academic camp focusing on leadership with the student choosing from one of three other "Discovery Strands." There are three locations to choose from, none of them easily gotten to for us - northern VA, Chevy Chase and Towson with the Chevy Chase camp being a residential camp. It sounds just amazing with so much opportunity and potential for growth. JAM needs to be constantly challenged or I fear he'll end up like me... bored with school, and in looking for something to do, he'll end up constantly getting in trouble.

The upside has been established right? It sounds great, the extended summer learning opportunity, the time away from home surrounded by really bright kids, the fact that he'll know he was nominated by a teacher who hasn't, until now, shown any interest or acknowledgement of his abilities...

The downside?

$1,990 for the six-day program.

There is no way we could pay a third of that. I don't know what else to say except it really sucks to not be able to provide everything your family needs. I'm so proud of JAM and at the same time it really, really hurts.

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