So remember when I said that I don’t need any special events to show me how far Luke has come in the past six months? Well it turns out I get one anyway, because life is just that kind of awesome these days!
Luke has a history of being kind of a spaz at school. From day one he has found the whole environment there to be too noisy and chaotic and populated with untrustworthy sorts who were probably all Out To Get Him. It’s been…a challenge, for him and for his teachers and fellow students.
Over the past couple of months or so I’ve been getting an occasional Friday phone call from his teacher to tell me that he’s had a wonderfully good week. He’s been learning to sit quietly in class, do his work at the same time and in the same manner as the other kids, and play cooperatively with his peers at recess.
And today at the school awards assembly he was presented with a P.R.O. Award.
It stands for People Respecting Others, and it’s awarded to students who have been exceptionally good citizens and demonstrated exemplary social skills. For Luke to have won it is huge. I could not be more proud of him.
And then there’s Elizabeth. She’s been having the sort of week that reminds me that underneath that marvelous veneer of brilliance and creativity there’s still a regular kid who from time to time can be as refreshingly goofy as the rest of us.
Conversation a few days ago in the car on the way home from the bus stop:
Elizabeth: “We’re learning about the colonists this week.”
Me [because sadly my geek brain instantly jumped to various colony planets in the Star Trek ‘verse and I was pretty sure her class wasn’t studying any of those]: “Really? Which colonists?”
Elizabeth [pausing in a “busted” sort of way because she was probably thinking about dragons or something while the teacher was talking about the colonists in question]: “Um…the…um…the colonists in the American Revolution?”
Me: “Oh! The American colonists, okay.” Duh.
Elizabeth: “Our class is divided up into groups. I’m in the ‘colonists’ group. We were supposed to write letters today. I wrote a letter to the colonists telling them not to do the Boston Tea Party.”
Me: “Really? You don’t think the colonists had a right to protest being taxed without governmental representation?”
Luke: “She just thinks it’s too girly and she doesn’t want to have to do it.”
Me: “Too…girly…Elizabeth, you weren’t really listening to the teacher when she was talking about the Boston Tea Party, were you?”
Elizabeth: “Um…possibly not completely….”
Me: [Gives a brief description of the colonists dressed as Indians raiding the ships and dumping the tea into the harbor and why they did it.]
Me: “You were picturing a bunch of old guys in powdered wigs and, like, frilly aprons — ”
Luke: “And their dolls!”
Me: “…And their dolls, sitting around sipping tea?”
Elizabeth: “….Something like that. Yeah.”
Elizabeth has been having That Sort Of Week. The topper came yesterday at recess when she decided to find out what would happen if she let go of the swing chains in mid-swing. Luckily that part of the school playground is on sand rather than asphalt, so she got away with some impressive abrasions on her face rather than a fractured skull.
Today when she received her Bookworm Award she looked like she’d just gone a few rounds with a belt sander.
And somehow in that moment I finally saw a resemblance between us.
The tomboyishly scraped-up face, the certificate officially recognizing her bookworm status…yes. That was me at ten-going-on-eleven.
Take that, aliens! You MISSED a couple of my genes when you were replacing them with your extraterrestrial DNA!
Yeah, this is why I have a blog. So I don’t say stuff like that out loud at school awards ceremonies.
Luke and Elizabeth? You guys rock.