I'm always talking about the wisdom of my 18 year old...and he is wise. Beyond his years. 6'4", long ponytail, Eagle scout. Top 10% of class; dean's list. Great young man.
My 14 year old is pretty cool, too. But last year as I was driving him to high school, to 9th grade, it was the 14th consecutive morning that I was cringing and listening to his pleading to me not to take him. To homeschool him.
I'd homeschooled them both for about 5 years, about 5 years ago. It was successful, then they went on to a charter school, the oldest graduated last year. My youngest, G, went on to a public middle school. He wasn't fond of that experience.
He's a scout, a basketball player, an avid video gamer. He has a great sense of humor, but as he started to high school, his mood darkened. He wouldn't cut his hair and he let it fall over his face. He was hiding. We got worried.
The thoughts of, "hey, everyone has to suffer through this stuff" went through my mind. I did. I hated every minute of high school, and if I'd had the chance to be home schooled then I'd have taken it. To be able to read and study ahead of everything....to have freedom. You bet.
But my husband and I were worried that he wouldn't develop 'strength of character' if we didn't let him go through complete and utter torture.
That morning, I turned into the parking lot. The wrong one. I ended up in a bizarre twisted loop of concrete that kept turning me away from the school. G's complaints about going turned into nagging that he would not only be going to a "hellhole" but he would be LATE as well! I just kept driving around. Finally, I turned completely away from the school. Silence. "What are you doing?" he asked. I said, "I'm taking you home."
That was 5 or so months ago. He cut his hair. He's grown 4 inches, gleefully passing my 5'10" frame to a sturdy 6'1". He does his work. He laughs. He hugs. He's filled out. His game is better......he's great at scout meetings. He cracks me up. He wore his "I'm really excited to be here" T-shirt to the orthodontist yesterday...cracking them up. He had to get his lower braces, so I took him to get a GIANT chocolate shake to celebrate at his request.
As we were passing things around in the car, we both grabbed the HUGE cup the wrong way and the thing erupted like Mt. Vesuvius spilling chilled chocolate lava all over the side...and plopping like wet putty onto his leg. 6 months ago I would never have heard the end of it. But at that moment of eruption, we both looked at each other for what seemed like 5 minutes....and then we burst out in laughter. I still haven't heard the end of it....but in a good way. He dramatically and comically re-describes the event...grinning from ear to ear.
We've got our boy back.