Friday, August 24, 2007

oh, look! here's the apple, right under the tree

After a string of happy days, Ezra told me he had a bad day at school yesterday. I didn't get a 100 percent coherent story, but it went something like this:

"I forgot what I was supposed to do. I lost my gold*. I walked up the slide. Tomorrow we get to do whatever we want but I can't because I lost my gold and I won't have a chance to get it back."

* They have some kind of bribery reward system involving earning pieces from the "pot of gold" for good behavior.

He was in tears by the time he finished.

When I was in eighth grade, my parents had a conference with my advisor, who told them, "I wish I could catch her whispering to the kid behind her in class every once in a while."

That's how I feel about Ezra. He behaves so well in school it's almost problematic. I want to hear from his teachers about some of that obnoxious disregard for rules spirit that he exhibits so frequently at home. I want him not to be so driven to please, so focused on meeting the expectations of others, so intent on being perfect.

So there he was, a single slip in playground etiquette, and he was devastated. I tried to give him a pep talk--the usual stuff about everyone making mistakes, you're still an awesome kid, blah blah. But he wasn't buying it.

Lots of days, still, I don't either. Maybe we'll learn to believe all that garbage together.

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