This week marks a turning point for our little family. The same day that my son's penultimate middle school report card came home, he went down to his incipient high school and registered for classes for next fall. High school classes. With high school teachers. With other high schoolers. Way back when I started writing this blog, he was finishing up his second grade year. He was halfway through his elementary school experience, and the thought of selecting classes was limited primarily to picking which teacher would nurture his cleverness for the coming year.
All of that was in preparation for this: His permanent record. The responsibility for that scholarship to the engineering school of his choice now rests squarely on his shoulders. Those ever-broadening almost fourteen-year-old shoulders. No pressure.
Or at least that's the image we like to project. But when his regular stellar performance started slipping into the merely acceptable, his mother and I had many anxious moments. Somewhere in the last semester came the mild realization that we might not be raising the valedictorian. Currently we are raising the best friend of the valedictorian. We're becoming more comfortable with that, and it seems that our smug satisfaction with that perfect four-point-oh has waned. Ultimately, we know, it's not up to us and our lofty expectations. He's making his way now, and if all the possible permutations that create what we all call "good grades," then so be it. I hope he learns. I hope he learns a lot and he is happy with the grades he receives for his effort. I hope we can help.