Crunch Week: Kids Finals and Staying Grounded Like A Blueberry Bush
March 8, 2021
It’s crunch week for the kids. Our son has four finals this week and he is in the inbetween area for several classes. It’s stressful being a sophomore high school student. These are all honors and AP Classes, and it was his choice to take them. Mr. Plastic Picker is somewhat stressed about this week, and it spills over to me. All in all, our son is going through something every teen should go through. He seems more relaxed then he really is. I created him in my womb so I know. It definitely is that crunch time and he feels it. My job is to make sure he gets to bed on time, and is eating nutritious food. He asked for a new video game, and Mr. Plastic Picker bought it for him. I put my mommy foot down and told him no video games until he is done with finals. Sometimes my husband who is usually really smart is not so smart. I might rename myself Dr. Common Sense at some point. But then he definitely can’t be Mr. Common Sense.
So the drama of our teen son’s life is playing out. I have the utmost confidence in him, and having a birds eye view of the world and life is important. We are glad for the obstacles he is facing now, and the opportunity for him to learn how to organize his time and focus himself. Nothing is worthwhile unless it is justly earned, and that is what his father and I want for him. He does not have to work at the family’s small business like I did when I was young. All he has to do is attend to his honors and AP Classes and do the best that he can, that is all we ask of him. He is a good person, and has integrity and a strong moral core. I have no concerns about his future whether these particular classes teeter one side or the other. But it’s my job to make sure the environment around him is conducive to maximize his performance.
Our daughter is in crunch time too, but she’s only in middle school. The typically neglected younger child, she seems more outwardly stressed than the oldest – but her grades are always in the top percentiles for her class. For her I worry about the opposite. I do not want my daughter to feel like she has to be perfect. Imperfections should be celebrated. It is okay to fail. At some point she will learn that. I think having a silly mother who makes trash art kind of puts it all in perspective.
It’s this beautiful stage in life when they are 15 and 12. I want to stop time and have them stay this age forever. Forever stressed about four AP Classes and forever stressed about another school project. For them it would seem like purgatory, but for me it is when they need me to keep the ship headed straight the most. I’m the captain of this ship. I reminded them I put money in their college fund and reviewed with them how the stock market allowed the principal balance to appreciate over the last decade. I remind them I have back up plans for them in case things don’t work out at school (of course in jest!) that they can stay home and care for their grandparents or run the two new businesses that I am investing in. They love their grandparents, but it’s a great incentive to go away to college to have your own space and create your own life away from your puttering grandmother and mother, or find a job outside of the one your mother has helped create for you as a backup.
My mother-in-law and I repotted a blueberry bush yesterday together. It was fun to see how she does it, and I learned several things about gardening from her without even talking. She kind of presses the soil around the roots of the repotted plant firmly. We mixed in potting soil and compost from our Aerobin400. I went up to our roofdeck to check on our other bluberry bush which was not doing as well, and I think it’s because I left the soil too loose. I added compost and really grounded the rootball more securely in the pot. This morning I’m going to give the roots a good watering with my fancy watering can I bought yesterday at home depot. It’s one of the few new things I’ve purchased lately.
And guiding children through crunch exam time is not that different than repotting a blueberry bush. You add some nutritious compost and add some more soil, and just press firmly. Remind the blueberry bush roots that there is earth beneath them and that their family (grandparents, parents, sibling, puppy and two bunnies and hundreds of plants) are anchoring them to this earth.
Only by knowing where your feet are planted can you begin to dream of becoming a bird or a butterfly.