And so today marks one full week since we’ve been back to school.
And I’m exhausted.
As I commented on another blog, this whole return to school deal caught me unprepared. All of a sudden, with what seems like little or no advance notice, I find myself sitting in car line, rushing to soccer practice and racking my brain in the wee hours of the morning (6 am) trying to remember who likes strawberry jelly in their PB&J and who prefers apple. I told someone I feel like I’ve been thrown in the deep end of the pool only to discover I’ve forgotten how to swim!
Yesterday when I picked up number three son, I asked my usual “Do you have any homework?” “Nope” was his FIRST answer. Then he reconsidered. “A little science. Oh yeah, and some math.”
This is good. I like homework. Really, I do. I want my kids to learn the discipline doing their homework requires. The son in question went a whole year last year–fourth grade–with no homework, a fact which will have repercussions evident in the rest of this story…
So, we arrived home after spending I-won’t-tell-you-how-long in car line. He watched a little tv and after a couple of gentle reminders, he sat down to his homework at the kitchen table.
There is a problem.
The science folder is still in his locker at school. Being the good mom that I am, we hop in the car, rush off to the school, mercifully find an unlocked door, and retrieve the necessary folder from his locker.
All is well in Fifth Grade Homework Land.
He finishes his science work and begins his math homework only to discover…you guessed it…the math folder is…no, I kid you not…in his locker at school.
Where it remained.
I will spare you the details of the ensuing lecture on retrieving the necessary folders corresponding to the assignments written in the planner.
By virtue of the good memory genes he inherited from his mother, he remembers the math assignment. Completing it is another matter. Keep in mind, this is the son who went a whole year (maybe more–who can remember third grade?) without homework. While perfectly capable, he doesn’t want to do the work. He HATES doing the work. He would rather sit at the kitchen table and whine and complain than do the work. He finally pushes all the mommy’s buttons and engages in a yelling match over doing the work.
I tried to tell him that it’s far easier (for us all!) just to do the work. It has to be done, whether he likes it or or not. All the wailing and gnashing of teeth only makes the process longer and even more miserable.
He finally completed his work, but it was not pleasant for those involved.
As frustrated as I was with him, I realized he is a lot like me. Sometimes there are unpleasant things that must be done. Sometimes I hate it, the thing I must do. Sometimes I’d rather complain and cry than just do it. Like my boy, I need to learn the discipline of doing the hard thing. Because I must. Because my Lord asks it of me. And because there is great joy in ready obedience to Him.