Friday, August 12, 2011

Homework and Other Things that Make Parents Crazy

            “Do you have homework tonight?”

            “Yeah, but not too much. I’ll be back later, ‘k?”

            “No, it’s not OK, young man. Why don’t you just sit down and get that homework out of the way?”

            “Going to the gym first,” he said around a mouthful of turkey sandwich.

            “When are you planning to do your homework?”

            “I’ll be home for dinner. I’ll do the homework after dinner. See ya.” Alex kissed my forehead, patted the dog, and slammed the door as he left.

            “What are we going to do about your boy, Wreck? It’s only the first week of school and he’s already procrastinating. Why do I have to remind him to do his homework?”

            The little white poodle jumped up into my lap and licked my hand.

            “You’re right. I need to just let it go. He’s 17 years old and if he doesn’t have it now, there’s really nothing I can do.”

            Wreck started to snore. He was curled up in a little ball on my lap, happy as could be.

            I stroked his fur and thought for a moment. Did it really matter if Alex did his homework right now? He said he’d do it later, and he was a good kid. Alex wasn’t worried about it, Wreck wasn’t worried about it, so why was I feeling that knot in my stomach? Why was I worrying about it?

            For me and probably for lots of other teachers, the “New Year” begins on the first day of school in the fall. I made my first – and only – resolution and promised myself I would actually follow through this time. This was the year I was going to stop sweating the small stuff.  Really? Yes, really.

            Do you suppose I should keep a list of how well I’m doing? Let’s think this through. Making a list would become a chore, another bit of small stuff for me to sweat. Not a good idea. I can see that keeping this resolution might be more difficult than I thought.  I’m going to give it a try, though. I’ll let you know how it goes.