View From The Glen

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Erik has a school project due tomorrow. A poster to advertise a book they just read in class. The assignment due date has been written in his agenda for two weeks, and being the overbearing, over-achieving interested mom I am I've been asking him every day for two weeks if he needed help with it at all ("No"), if he's working on it with ("two other boys") and if he needed to bring it home ("No, we're doing it all in school"). Cool. I'm cool with that.

Then tonight, Thursday, Cubs, he brings home a poster board that has three lines written on it in pencil in his handwriting in the top left corner, leaving a huge white space to fill.

I thought you didn't need help, I said.  (He shrugged.)

I thought there were two other boys working on it with you, I said. (Both out with H1N1 for the past week or more)

I thought it was all getting done in school, I said. (But apparently they are allowed to bring it home if they want to. He just chose not to until the very last minute.)

I always said I'd never do my kids' homework for them. I always said they could learn the lesson the hard way. So how come I ended up sitting down with him and brainstorming ways to make his poster more interesting? How come we ended up creating callouts and pictures and text boxes on the computer to add colour and visual variety to his poster? How come I found myself at seven o'clock on a Thursday evening with a pair of scissors and a glue stick instead of a glass of red wine and a book?

Perhaps it was because he got left on his own while his project mates were out sick. Maybe it's because it's his first project of the year. Maybe it's because he was telling me how he had to write the three lines he did write upside down because he couldn't reach across the desk to the top of the poster board.

However, the sad truth is that when it came down to brass tacks, I couldn't let him pass it in without some input. He got it done, hopefully learned something in the process (even if it is only to bring it home sooner next time), and got off to Cubs on time.

But next time, next time, he's on his own.


1 comment:

Melissa said...

I love little snapshots of a mother's life comparing your imagined standards to real life. Thanks, D.