Catalyst - FamilyEducation

Catalyst

February 03,2012
Professor Mom
Aliki McElreath

Aliki is a writer and college English teacher. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two children (ages seven and ten), a dog, a cat, a rabbit, and too many fish.

I'm going to use this Friday post space to gush proudly here about how L. is on his school's Battle of the Books team. A couple of months ago in the van on the way to pick up T. he casually mentioned that he had gone to a BOB informational meeting at lunch.

"Oh really?" My heart jumped. Careful, I thought. Don't be too pushy. Don't get too excited or nosey about this. Sometimes L. trying something is like coming up on a wild animal in the bushes. If you make a sound, or move too quickly, he'll scurry away quick as a flash.

But L. continued to go to the practice meetings, and he tried out for the 6th grade class team and made it! His team placed second in the finals for his school and, encouraged by this, he went on to try out for the schoolwide team. This was big. Really, really big.

And he made it!

Now he'll get to compete countywide this month, and he stays after school for practices and everything. The other night I was telling someone on the phone about his BOB success. "He decided to do it all on his own," I told my friend. After I hung up with her L., who has supersonic hearing and hears every little conversation anywhere in the house, came out of the office looking a little sheepish.

"You know," he said. "I didn't decide ALL on my own," he admitted.

"That's okay," I said. "What do you mean?"

He'd gone to the first informational meeting, he told me, because he had been looking for a way to get out of eating in the cafeteria that afternoon.

"It was hot dog day," he said. "I hate the smell of the cafeteria on hot dog day."

I had to laugh, and I grabbed at him and snuck in one quick hug before he wriggled away. "That is all on your own," I told him. No matter the reasons why, you still went for it on your own."

And I'm proud of him. I hope he's proud, too, because he so deserves to be.

 

Happy Friday!