Pleasing Mom

The 13 year old boy is wearing glasses and is standing in the highschool hallway, leaning down on the table as he painstakingly begins his “Thank-you” card a third time. He is gangly, and one of maybe 5 boys at the dressage clinic peopled by at least a hundred girls.  I overheard his mom earlier asking in a workshop about whether there could be more help for learning challenged kids who find themselves confronted with the written dressage test. She explained that her son was dyslexic and though very knowledgable about dressage, found written test taking very challenging. Now here she was, dressed in a snappy hot pink riding jacket standing over him as he soldiered on through his third attempt at the Thank-you card. I thought hard about how to make a wittty remark that would get him off the hook. He was intent on obliging her, but he made new spelling mistakes each time he wrote. She seemed incredulous. “No, there is an ‘r’ after the a, put an “r”. I knew from my daughter that the “Thank you notes” were certainly optional. Why is she making him do this? I thought. He undoubtedly needs to do things that build his confidence. He needs a chair and a quiet place to write also. Extra letter writing standing up in a hallway on a Sunday just doesn’t seem productive. She grew more irritated as he slowly labored. “You are going to need to get better at your spelling. We will have to do more writing.”  I wanted to say, “Oh, some people never master spelling”, not to discourage him, but to let him know that life could be carried on without being able to spell well. But I held my tongue. I could not see any point to drawing more attention to his trouble. Why couldnt she just accept his mispelled card and chuck it in an envelope for him? 

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One thought on “Pleasing Mom

  1. I believe your analysis of the situation was “right on” although a bit of compassion for the mom was in order. Her misguided efforts and painful feelings are not helpful to her son but also give her a heavy burden to carry. Your writing and overall expression is praiseworthy! I enjoy reading your words.
    Dad

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