Monday, February 07, 2011

Scientific American

...that's what I am these days. It has taken forty eight years and finally, I feel an increasing desire to embrace the practical.

Grappling with my soon to be thirteen year old son may be a factor. January was a tough month. For the first time in B's academic life, he earned a series of poor test/quiz grades in each subject over a three week period. One day a 92, the next day a 62 in the same subject. Teachers do not take kindly to this pattern and wrote "what is going on?" across the top of his work.

My husband and I were confused and concerned. B couldn't explain why this pattern was going on. Why he would study some days and not others. He and I had shouting matches, tears and discussions. It hit me that he is now at an age where I can't control his choices or behavior as I did when he was a boy. We were both having to grow up at the same time.

At one point my son said, "You expect me to do well and usually I do. That is a lot of pressure. When I don't do well - the response is even stronger. I don't get a break." Wow. My head was spinning. He saw his performance as something we were greater stakeholders in than he was. As a mom, it was a reality check for me.

B is at an age where his sense of achievement, structure, creativity and curiosity about the world must more and more become his own. He is the bright, free spirited, compassionate boy I hoped he would be. And I need to let him be that in his own way. And his way may be different from something I imagined.

I also realized that my son grew about two inches in January. He looks and acts like a teenager with just a few traces left of his little boyhood. Those hormonal changes also take a toll on behavior and the ability to concentrate.

Luckily, he was able to turn it around and did well at the end of the quarter. Looks like we all figured something out.

What's Cookin': I have been reading a book on food science and it is totally incredible and overwhelming to me. Wow, so this is what is going on behind the recipe direction's curtain!! How do every day people absorb all of these facts? My head is still spinning about the difference between making cookies with butter vs. shortening - and that is just one grain of sand in the desert that is food science! Will I ever know what the heck I am doing in the kitchen?!