Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Day in the Life

And we go up, and we go down. And then we go up, and then we go down.

Such is life with a middle schooler in the house.

Most of the time, I have to admit, One is on the "up" side of things. He is "on his game", as it were. He remembers his responsibilities, he works hard, and he still manages to have a lot of fun. He's walking perfection ... with a teeny, tiny zit on his nose occasionally, but who's looking? Seriously, he is doing really well for almost 12. He had a great first middle school report card, he's working hard at football, and he's still reading like the bibliophile he has always been. Today, the high point of "up" was a trip to the opera to watch The Barber of Seville. One's reaction to opera: "It was fantastic! So funny! And can you believe B fell asleep during it? I mean, it was The Barber of Seville! How can you fall asleep during that?" And opera was followed by a picnic lunch outside and an early dismissal from school. How can things be any better?

And then we go "down". Because of things like, oh, the little math quiz he took today before the opera trip. "What did you get on it?" "Um, a 60, because I, well, I didn't really pay attention and I made mistakes on multiplication and division." Crash. Burn. Mayday. Complete with me yelling "How can you not care enough to make mistakes from 4th grade? How could you not check your work? What were you thinking?" Let it be known that this is not the first bad math grade of the grading period, or I wouldn't be so steamed. Yes, it was mature of him to immediately admit the cause of his mistake - and to own up to the fact that he was the cause - I've given him credit for that. He didn't stonewall, refuse to tell me, or outright lie, thank the Lord. But... but... but ... oh, it's so frustrating!

It's like one minute he's firing on all cylinders (I am on the metaphors tonight, aren't I?) and the next he's just standing there with his mouth open, watching the world go by. He did this quite literally at his football game two weeks ago, where he pretty much decided that being a spectator was more fun than being an offensive lineman, and stood and watched calmly as his teammates were sacked. Play after play after play. And they lost. And he was snarky and angry when I told him that if he was going to be absent for a game, he shouldn't put on his uniform and go out on the field.

Up, and then down. Up and down. When does he grow out of this - 25? Boy, that's an awfully long way away.

*The picture is One doing his air guitar on the swings at 9. Wow - nine.

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