Friday, September 12, 2014

Good Weather, Great Football, Awesome Email

This is going to be one of those days where I share the good, gooder, and goodest parts of yesterday. (Lord, please forgive me for the terrible use of grammar... I did so for humor, but it is now killing me just looking at it).  Anywho, yesterday was a great day, with several great things happening... so I wanna share.

First off, the weather.  Wow.  Wednesday, the temps were in the 90s and it was hot, humid, and so uncomfortably stuffy.  I hate weather like that.  It makes me cranky.  But yesterday? Our high was in the low 70s, and it was perfectly cool and comfortable. It actually got downright cold yesterday evening, and wouldn't you know I was sitting outside with just a t-shirt on.  We went to a football game, last night, and the only thing I had in the car to keep Peanut, Jelly, and myself warm was some swimming towels.  Thank goodness I had them, though, because we were FREEZING.  I'd say the temps were easily in the low 50s.  Not that I'm going to complain.  That's PERFECT football weather, and I LOVE cool weather.  Right now, I'm sitting on the patio with a blanket wrapped around me, and it feels great. I just know that next time we go to a football game, I'm going to make sure I pack a few blankets and jackets to take with us.  

Which leads me to my next great thing.  Butter's football game.  It was the team's first game of the season, and I'm so happy to report that they won!  The final score was 24-6.  The boys sure did play hard, and made some great plays.  It's always nice to win, but it's so much better to watch a game that has several close calls, and some strategic game-playing.  Our 8th grade boys sure did that.  There were several attempts and close calls made by the opposing team, but the defense really pulled through and prevented them from getting in more than one touchdown.  I sure do love me some local football...and I sure do love that I have a son that loves to play.

Speaking of sons, yesterday, I was so proud of Butter.  Yesterday afternoon, I received an email from Butter's Ag. teacher.  The subject line just contained Butter's name, so my first thought was "Great, what did he do now?"  That's a terrible thing to think, I know, but in all honesty the only time I ever hear from one of Butter's teachers is when he did something he shouldn't have.  But, yesterday, that all changed.

I opened up the email, and read....

I just wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoy having Butter in my class!  

I wanted to brag on him especially today because he did the best on the assignment he had today in his class.  He is on of the most opinionated in that class which leads to some good discussions and keeps me learning!

I see so much potential in him and I know that he will do some amazing things!

I'll admit it, when I read that email I got tears in my eyes.  It is the ONLY email I have ever received about my son telling me how good he is, rather than how he can improve on his behavior.  Which is pretty sad in it's own right.  Butter is no perfect angel, I know that.  He gets in trouble.  He acts out.  He likes to be the class clown and make people laugh, but has a hard time knowing when it's appropriate and not appropriate to act that way.  But, one of the reasons that Butter is not a fan of school is because no matter how long he goes without getting in to trouble, he knows that the only time I'll ever hear from his teachers is when that happens.

Just the other day, Butter got written up for acting out during his Outdoor Classroom class.  He was written up for trying to be the class clown, not taking everything seriously, spraying people with the water hose, and so on.  No "major" infractions, but enough to warrant a discipline form being sent home.  I, once again, gave Butter the whole spill about how disappointed I was with his behavior, gave him the lecture that he needs to be more serious, and told him that he just couldn't act that way...I was tired of hearing about him getting in trouble.

His response to my disappointment sure did hit me in the gut, though.

He listened to my concerns and then said, "OK, fair enough, but what about when I'm good?  Do you ever hear about that?  I might get in trouble once in a while, but what about all the times I don't?"  

And, he's right.  I do only ever hear from Butter's teachers when he's acting up.  But, what about when he's being good, working hard, and making an effort?  There is one teacher in the Junior High that came to me the first full week of school to tell me he'd been having some issues with Butter being disruptive in class.  I spoke to Butter, and then the teacher followed up to tell me that Butter had improved his behavior and the teacher appreciated the effort Butter had made to turn things around.  That meant a lot to me, but that's the only time I've ever heard a follow up to a complaint.  

Butter does have it pretty tough.  Being that I'm right there in the school, it's easy for teachers to come and see me when Butter isn't being the "model student".  But, one thing that really upsets me is when I hear about stuff that other parents wouldn't hear about.  I mean, if he does something that his teachers would call ANY parent about, then sure... I need to know.  But, if he calls out answers without raising his hand, throws a paper across the room to try and make it in the trash can, or forgets to bring a book to class, that's stuff I really don't need to know.  I understand that my co-workers are just trying to keep me aware of some of the issues they've had, but I'm a parent.  I want to be treated the same way as other parents.  If he does something that requires parental contact, then by all means contact me.  If it's something that can be dealt with in class, by the teacher, I don't really need to know.  But, one thing Butter has complained about is the fact that he doesn't even have the chance to tell me he got in to trouble... I know sometimes before he does.

So, I was absolutely ECSTATIC to receive that email, yesterday.  And, the best part was the fact that it's from a new teacher I haven't even really spoken to.  She only works half the day in our building, and so I haven't had a chance to meet her.  What I do know is that Butter really likes her and loves the class she teaches.  I know that because he told me.  And, now that I've received that email, I doubt she will EVER have a problem from him.  He's waited practically his whole life for me to receive an email like that.  And, I can't even describe the smile and look he had on his face when I let him read it. 

I was a little mean and played a trick on him.  After the game, we were on our way home and I told him I needed to speak to him about an email I'd received.  I gave him my stern face, and told him that I wanted him to read the email to get his side of the story before we discussed the "issue".  His first response, with that quite common defeated look on his face, was "Great, what did I do now?"  As he started reading, I could see the confusion on his face.  Then, he looked up at me in the rear view mirror with one of the biggest smiles I've ever seen on his face.  I could see how much it meant to him straight away.  And, for the rest of the ride home, he talked non-stop about his class, the assignment she was talking about in the email, and how much fun he has in the class.  

That's what I'd love to hear from him more often.  How much he enjoys his classes.  How much he enjoys school.  And I am so thankful that his Ag. teacher took the time out of her day to send me some nice words about my son.

She's absolutely right when she speaks of the potential that she sees.  Butter loves all things related to Agriculture, and despite him telling me that he wants to drive trucks when he's older, I definitely think he has a future in Ag.  At the very least, he'll definitely show a much higher interest now that he knows she's gone out of her way to say nice things about him, and I know that he won't want to ruin that.  

Butter is one of those kids that yearns for attention.  He wants to be noticed.  Unfortunately, it's usually in a way that is disruptive.  He lives in the shadow of a sister that is always good, gets raving reviews by all the teachers that have had her, and has her hands in more clubs, organizations, and projects than I can keep up with.  Butter is impulsive, he often does things without really taking the time to think about what he's doing.  And, then he ends up getting in to trouble.  I know that he yearns for positive attention and kudos, but being that it's so hard for him to get those things.. he sometimes opts for the easy way:  Negative attention.  

Now, he has made some close connections since I got my job.  His 6th grade teacher was awesome for him.  I never heard from him about discipline problems.  Butter did very well in his class.  Last year, it was his football coach.  The coach took Butter under his wing and did his best to keep Butter on the straight and narrow.  This year, his comm arts teacher (who had some discipline issues with Butter last year) has turned that relationship around, and he's told me that he really likes her (this year) and they get along very well.  And now, he can add his Ag. teacher to the list of teachers that he loves.  I'm very happy that the list is getting a little longer, rather than shorter. 

Anywho, all in all, yesterday was a fantastic day.  I am so thankful for days that I can reflect on with smiles and sunshine.  It feels good.  

Today is Friday, and so the weekend is near.  I'm exhausted and ready to catch up on some sleep.  I'm also ready to see Sanity, P-Momma, and just enjoy a weekend of relaxation and fun.  I won't get very many of them, so I have to cherish each one that I do get.  

Have an awesome Friday, everyone!!


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