And then you get a flash of glory!
So... most of the time we muddle along at home with Bright Eyes doing okayish at home and quite well at school and never particularly good at Sunday school, and I deal with his quirks and non-stop arguing and annoying tics and funny little things as we go.
Most of the time I have a mild, underlying anxiety. About him, about his 'friendships', about what he'll do when he grows up, about whether or not he's going to develop depression and moodiness when he hits teenagerhood. All that stuff.
We have cuddles, we have arguments, he runs away from home and goes to sit in the shed on the property, I get him back and calm him down. Things go on.
And then, one day, there's a flash of glory. Things work out well. I say, "Wow, that's amazing" and he's proud of himself and I'm proud of him.
Today, two things happened. The first wasn't that unexpected. He won the school round of the NSW school's spelling bee. Last year he made it to the Junior regional level and was proud of himself. This year he moved up to Seniors and beat Year 6 kids to be the first representative to regionals. The kid can spell.
The second was very unexpected. We were sitting in assembly and the principal started to talk about the children who had done a UNSW Writing Competition a few months ago. One young man got not a participation certificate, not a credit, but a distinction. And you can guess who that young man was. His story about a man-eating chameleon scored high enough that he placed out of the Year 5 range and in with Year 6 kids.
My son! A Writing Distinction!
If you'll remember, it was only two years ago that he refused point blank to write more than half a page for any reason. Ever. When he was in kindy he screamed if he picked up a pen. In Year 2 I was still helping him write, hand over hand. Even last year, for some of his homework assignments, I did the writing while he dictated.
Now, though, he has a whole little story going on in his imagination; himself and three friends who have adventures, listen to cool music and hang out together. It's very much about the life he'd like to lead, I think. Not only does he write the stories but he illustrates them too. Soon, I'll publish one of them for your reading pleasure. It's delightful to see it all develop.
This is a flash of glory. This is a sign of fulfilment of potential. This is an example of developing perseverance, imagination and self-motivation. All great things.