Sometimes what makes me most proud of The Boy is when he is able to turn it around. Heading for a meltdown, but able to stop, relax a bit, refocus, and get back to work.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at my desk at home, preparing to go to work. I got a phone call from the school, and it was the counselor (not a usual person to call). She explained that The Boy was in her office because he had gotten upset in Language Arts, and had become destructive, throwing things, and sweeping things off of desks. This is not typical for The Boy unless he is very upset. The counselor said, “He thought maybe he should call you,” and I replied, “Ok…” I was sure he was going to ask me to come pick him up, which I don’t often do, as that would teach him that he can escape the tough stuff. Besides, I have to work, and don’t get paid unless I do, so there’s that.
“What’s up, Bub?”
“Today is the same as yesterday,” he said.
“Does that mean that Friend-Who-Is-A-Girl is not at school today?”
“Yeah. She moved,” he said, whining.
“I don’t think so, Bub. I think she’s just on vacation or has a cold or something. But here’s the thing. I know you’re upset, but throwing things and knocking things off of desks is not a good way to handle your anger, right?”
“And going to school is your job, and you need to be in class, right?”
“So what’s the plan? Are you going to take a breath and go back to class?”
“Yeah, I think I can do that,” he said, and handed the phone back to the counselor. She didn’t sound at all sure that this was a good idea, but I know my son. Once he has decided upon a course of action, he does it. And he did.
The TA emailed me later that day to explain that there had been a substitute teacher in language arts, and she had been called away, so she didn’t want to leave him in class with someone who didn’t know him, and that after we talked on the phone, he had an excellent rest of the day.
I think many of us have a hard time “turning it around”. It’s hard for me to focus on the positives of a situation that is making me tear my hair out, or to switch gears right in the middle of something. But I am so proud of this young man being able to do this. Proud and hopeful.