William is our most agreeable child. It’s rare for him to push back. It usually shows up as an “I don’t want to.” This morning it was an “I’m not going to!” He delivered it with tears and eyesight dragging across the thin oak planks of the upstairs hallway. William didn’t want to go to school this morning. 4th grade seems to be giving him the business.
Every parent wants their child to be happy and enjoy their childhood. This includes school. Which isn’t always realistic, right? It’s school. It’s a job for kids. You’re going to like some parts. Others, meh. It’s also legally mandated. The choice isn’t whether to go. It’s a matter of how you’re going to go and what your attitude is going to be while you’re “there.”
When we dug a little we learned “4th grade is hard!” There’s a lot to learn. There are tests. Every week. Without fail. It can be a bit much for a 9-year-old. So we let him stay home and play basketball video games.
William went to school today. Just like the last time he complained that he didn’t want to go. Just like that time, he came home in a great mood.
Which brings us to you and I. We complain, don’t we? About things we wish we didn’t have to do. Things that are difficult. Uncomfortable. Unfair. Inconvenient. Whatever. Then we do them. Sometimes we hop off the school bus sporting a smile just like our daddy’s. Sometimes we keep dragging our eyes across the hallway floor.
It’s always a choice. Even when we have none.