Every day is a present just waiting to be opened. A fantastic gift hides inside, or a stink bomb ready to explode. You really don’t know what lingers inside until you start to unwrap it, one hour at a time.
Yesterday, when Lucas announced his desire to run for President of his school, I was thrilled…opening up a beautiful, glowing, and brand new outlook on his young life. All of a sudden the box appeared filled with excitement, hope and loads of encouragement. Today, while the daily gift was unwrapped, the stink bomb exploded and I would have preferred to crawl under a rock, than push forward with peeling away the wrapper.
Lucas’ 7th grade presidential campaign almost nosedived into political oblivion and I was suddenly wondering if I would be the “First Mother” or the “First Mother to Post Bail Bond.” Lucas is a quick wit, creative, loves to be the center of attention…he is intelligent and passionate about life. The backside of those qualities? He is impulsive. This is toxic when combined with a physically absent middle school teacher and twenty five hormonal, awkward tweens crammed in one class room. When the teacher slipped out, the entire class saw it as a license to go berserk. Have you ever seen the movie Gremlins? It was something like that.
A friend suggested that Lucas jump on the desks… and then two other of these so called “friends” dared him to do it. Who doesn’t love a good dare? Lucas.
So, he burst out of his seat and jumped from desk to desk, messing up papers and entertaining his classmates like popcorn in hot oil. Once his performance ended, he sat in a chair that was pushed by a boy into a new table that broke under the intensity of his feet stopping the impact. It was a brand, new table, probably made in China.
In yesterday’s blog, I noted that he would make a great politician, due to the fact he was honest, could not cheat on his wife or have a homosexual affair. I failed to consider that he has a genetic trend toward Barnum and Bailey's Circus (I admit I ride a unicycle) and this does not always equate to a fantastic role model or upstanding leader.
“Maybe the political arena is not his calling…. maybe I should teach him the ways of the unicycle and juggling oranges?” I considered, for only a nanosecond.
The stink bomb had officially exploded, and the next thing I knew I was confronted by the principal (A.K.A. my boss, as I work in the fourth grade of his school). I did not relish this part of my day.
Smiling and nodding, I knew my boss was recanting the truth, what could I say? I wanted to crawl under that rock I mentioned earlier. I had an understanding grimace on my face, as my insides felt weighted with disappointment like a bowling ball in quicksand. Then she mentioned the part about the cost of the new table and the fact he is running for school President. I explained he could forward his five dollar a week allowance until college to replace the table…. As for the privilege of running for school President? That was out of my hands. I completely understand that the ideal leader of the kindergarten through eighth grade student body should not have Jack Black tendencies. I assumed his political career would end at twelve, after two swimmingly successful political years serving as the Athletic Liaison and Vice President. What a let down.
Lucas is the honest kid I knew he was. After this happened he, and the other child involved, tracked down the principal and apologized, admitting their poor choices. They offered to pay for the table. They wrote letters of apology during recess without prompting. They felt guilty and were sincere in their act of contrition.
Hearing this, I felt a bit better, but still, why, why, why? I could not wait to get him in the car for the ride home to listen what was filtering in his head.
It feels like just yesterday I was praying that this very young lad would survive all his congenital heart issues, two open heart surgeries and ventilator dependency. I ALMOST felt fortunate to be in the position of watching him screw up his George Washington opportunity with foolishness. Crazy, huh? Perspective is in the eyes of the beholder in this unusual situation. But, don’t get me wrong. I was maternally disappointed in him. Deeply. Completely sad and droopy after all that upsetting information about my son. I came home, after putting in five hours at that school, and had a good cry on my bathroom floor with the door locked. Such is life. This is the way it goes. Most can accept that we all make mistakes, but could the staff forgive him for his lapse in judgment?
Lucas was repentant. He wanted so badly to continue his political future and run for the Student Council President, although I had kissed this notion good bye. I could not blame the administration if they impeached him before having a shot at serving his constituents. I was anxious and waiting to hear what would happen next … besides what had already been firmly determined:
1. Lucas lost the privilege of playing video games and using his i-Pod until the age of eighteen, or a few weeks, whichever came first.
2. Having to serve detention after school
3. Forgoing his $5.00 a week allowance for the rest of his life to pay for his part of the table
4. Hefty parental disappointment and undergoing intense discussion with his parents (Dad dealt with this situation beautifully)
5. The counting of his mere twenty-one dollars plus loose change in his piggy bank
6. Feeling like he blew it
The call came in on my cell phone, from the teacher in charge of the Student Council. Whew! He was still in the running, but would need to apologize for his circus behavior in front of the class tomorrow. Lucas became nervous wondering why he would need to do this. Here we go again from square one….blah, blah. Blah!!
Aahhhhhh… ..now he gets it (again). Apparently he really enjoys politics because he put his pen to paper immediately. Easy enough. He molded his words and I gave him strict instruction to have no jokes or sense of humor in delivery, but to be genuine, sincere, or there is no shot at the White House of Private School….his political career depended on it. Next he put together his presidential speech to deliver to the school in a couple weeks…it is due tomorrow to be reviewed and approved by the Student Council Queen. He had many great ideas, but I put the kibosh on him doing the Michael Jackson Moon Walk on his way to the podium. And the Worm.
“This is not summer camp Lucas, it is an election…. you have to be a responsible, trustworthy leader…a dramatic voice inflection is okay, dance moves, no way! NO MONKEY BUSINESS!! “
His practice run went well on both speeches….I will let you know what happens next.
Note to self: Should I be worried?