Thursday, October 14, 2010

A young man is coming into his own

Hard to believe how tall he has grown. Hard to believe he is already 13. And, at least sporadically if not 24/7 he is proving to be growing inside as well. I wonder how much I can attribute to the arrival and now departure of Gaetan? Living with our teenage boarder for two years seemed to have both a dampening effect but also a stimulating effect on Leo. On the one hand with Gaetan being the elder, helpful, male presence in the house, Leo didn't need to be. On the other hand, Gaetan was there to observe and to learn from.

Hence Leo felt quite at ease digging through my tool box and dismantling the bicycle wheel the other day to replace a punctured inner tube. I watched him as the parts strew upon the floor, the chain hanging, and simply encouraged and/or got out of the way. Twenty four hours later, all is put back as it should and the wheel works. Wow, he actually knew what he was up to.

Another moment of pleasure for this mom came in the shape of a homework assignment for a boy who'd been talking in class. His (brilliant!) teacher asked him to write a poem. And what a poem! I had no idea my son had such a way with words, rhythm and wit. Am I over-doing it a bit much? Hey, I'm proud and pleased.

Un bon élève

Un bon élève en se balançant
rêve en pensant à trouver ce qu'il sait
chez lui avec son repas toujours cuit
ses devoirs non-faits il va se coucher
le matin il pense à rien
à son école couché sur ses épaules
il est sensé travailler, bah non; il reste couché
le prof n'est pas content
il se dit, eh bin, cet enfant
il se croit chez lui
il est cuit

Do I do a mini-translation? so much would be lost. It is in the rhythm as well as the sense that it has strength. Basically it's the story of a lazy/spacy child who forgets his homework, sleeps on his desk and gets caught by the teacher. Self-referential humor. Not bad, eh?

Now, if only I can convince him that it would be far better to work towards purchasing a new computer than to take the advice of one of his friends and return to the public schools for 3 months in order to benefit from a local program offering computers to their grade. He is baffled that I don't see the sense in scamming the State. Why should he go through all his old toys and books and sell them at the flea market to make money, and/or save all he receives and/or find some small jobs to do when in his mind it would be simpler to go to a different school (paper work much?) and thus take advantage of a special offer...

I'm working on my skills at convincing him. But that inner need to earn what you receive... apparently it isn't there yet. We'll see what other opportunities present themselves to expand on these lessons.

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