A note came home from the teacher yesterday. It said my son was reading in class instead of doing research. I was stunned. He was reading? Reading? Yes! At first I didn’t understand that the teacher meant this to be a bad thing. That this was a “I’m sending a note home to your mother” note. After all, I had written her emails, set up meetings, spoken to her in the hallway . . . all to discuss possible tactics to lure him into a book. I thought she meant it as a note of success!
The truth is my son had to explain to me that this was a reprimand. I totally didn’t get it. The note was in his homework folder. I thought his homework was to do the research since he hadn't done it in class and he could forgo the usual homework of reading for 20 minutes.
I am a rule follower. Always have been. But NOT ‘always will be.’ The older I get, the more I realize that the rules, though intended to guide and order, also confine. Sometimes rules are needlessly self-imposed. There’s a whole other world out there if you step outside them. I’m a little late to the game in realizing this. For my son, that world includes a book called Just Annoying. It was a book I’d picked out for him . . . hoping . . . fingers crossed . . . that it might capture his interest. (The author has another book titled The Day My Butt Went Psycho. And I will get it if there’s a chance it can open my son’s heart to reading.)
I’m not going to tell my son to break the rules. I’m not that kind of mom. But right or wrong, I said, clearly and concisely, eye to eye: I’m not mad about this.
Now go out there and read!