April 2, 2013

Slow Down, Little Man

My son is always in a big hurry.

He's got places to go, things to do, people to see.

He chooses what he wants to eat based on how long it will take to prepare.

AJ extends this quickness to his learning. He is inherently able to pick things up without much effort. When something does take more practice, he gets very impatient and frustrated.

Things that don't come easy make him feel dumb and he beats himself up for it. He doesn't want to do things he thinks are too hard. AJ thinks spreading peanut butter is hard, so he doesn't want to do it. Yet he can run the electronics in the house and ride his bike with no hands.

We had our spring conference with AJ's teacher last week. She pointed out that she has noticed most of the mistakes he makes on schoolwork are because he is simply going too fast.

An interesting point she made, and what made me think of Mr. Ferris Bueller, is that while AJ may be able to continue advancing along on his reading levels, she doesn't necessarily want him to....so fast. He is already above grade level and she wants him to slow down a bit.

Her reasons being A) if he gets too far ahead, we'll run into books with subject matter inappropriate for his age, and B) she would like him to slow down and ENJOY the books that are perfect for a 7 years old.

I found this to be kind of deep.

Knowing AJ's proclivity for doing things as fast as possible, I believe one of his life lessons is going to be about slowing down. He will need to learn how to stop and smell the roses, to take a deep breath and be still.

And to find some patience.

To my Little Man I say this: You are smart and bright and funny and oh so handsome. It is amazing to be a motivated learner and go-getter. You will certainly go far in life. But dude, Ferris and Mrs. V are right, you gotta stop and look around. Relish in the moment. Soak it up. Soak it ALL up!

You have a competitive spirit and want to be the best at whatever you do. Of course you do! Should your teacher and I want you to slow down a bit, encourage you to pace your learning a little? I don't know. I can see that it may seem counterintuitive, that we should only want you to learn as much as you can.

And of course I do want that for you. But I also want you to look around and really SEE the world around you. To marvel in it and appreciate it. I don't want you to take anything for granted. I want you to be able to be quiet and enjoy that as much as you enjoy constant stimulation.

Well rounded and balanced. Whatever it is you decide to do over the course of your life, that is what I ultimately hope you will achieve.

Well, that and happiness.

Is that too much for a mom to ask for her son?

Linked with Pour Your Heart Out.

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