Influence

* Activity Being Procrastinated: all out crustiness
* Music In My Head: On the Lakes of Canada – Sufjan Stevens
* Tea: chocolate mint
* Books Being Read: Treasure Island.  Which I don’t like.

When my children decided to go to high school, I was left to flounder.  Having been involved in every minute detail of their education while we were homeschooling (up to Grade 9), I was booted in the other direction any time I so much as asked if they’d done their homework.  The only time I got to see what they were doing was when I peeked over their shoulders or badgered the teachers during interviews.  It took me a while to adjust.

We had more parent/teacher interviews last week.

We’re not going to talk about my son, who is in his last semester of high school and is insistent that parental involvement is an invasion of his privacy.  Just do me a favour and sigh every time you walk past him.

We can talk about my daughter, though: she’s being ‘the good kid’ at the moment.

There was a really nice compliment from The World’s Greatest English Teacher (I liked her best even before she said this).  She said, “It’s always a gift to have one of your children in my class.”  You’re welcome.  I know what it’s like to teach kids who have absolutely no interest in the subject.  It must truly be nice to have kids who like to read and write.  Though I doubt your sanity if you really felt that ‘the chicken crossed the road because he was a G.I. in Norman Bates’ army and he was going to fight for justice, freedom and religion against Alexander DeLarge’s army’ deserved a near-perfect mark.  I’m sorry for showing my son those movies.  I’m glad that you liked my daughter’s self-described ’emo’ essay about punk music, too.  She hasn’t let me read it yet, but it must be a pure fount of melodrama if she used that word herself.

The fact is that my kids are getting good marks because they’re interested in learning.  And bs-ing, but that’s beside the point.  I taught them how to learn.  I made sure they were interested in something, anything.  It involved giving them a lot of freedom and cleaning up a lot of mess, but I think it was worth it.  While I complain about them, I’d much rather have my kids as students than some of the dead weight I have to tutor in the evenings.

I was thinking about this today as I went into my daughter’s room to pat the cat (who was merowping his head off).  As I sat on her bed, I noticed some more influence I’ve had.  It makes me happy.

Let me preface the story with a photograph.  This is what most people are allowed to see of my daughter’s bedroom:

You’ve been given warning.

I’m a lazy mother: I painted the walls white and handed them a pack of Sharpies.  If you have the guts to open the door, this is your first view:

Most of the writing is My Chemical Romance lyrics, with some punk poetry and the odd X was here.  But when I looked up, I saw this:

That’s my influence.  She learned that from me.

I’m proud of her.

I also saw this:

That pink quote from Jesus is also my doing.  Feeling a little at loose ends last weekend (it’s Lent and, having left the Anglican church, I feel like something’s missing) and having a bored teenager pestering me, I decided to make my daughter watch Stigmata.  Being emo, punky and inclined to histrionics, she loved it.

“I need to read that gospel!” she demanded.

I handed it over, along with the Toledot Yeshu.  I didn’t see her for over an hour.

It’s nice to know that even though I am not homeschooling them anymore, I still have influence.  Or, rather, the power to teach them.  There’s a dead weight student looming large this evening, and I’m hoping to have some influence over him.  Am not holding my breath.

2 responses to “Influence

  1. Any mom who is the fount, enabling her children to learn, is a great mom!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Freedom Might Taste of Reality | The English Major's Blog

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