With all the talk being ‘back-to-school’, it brought back some memories from long ago, when my own children were in school. I had many friends and co-workers whose children were along the same age and grades as mine. The times we were together, the talk would always turn to *the great grades their child was making* the scholarships they were getting* their grade point average* graduating HS early* awards they were receiving* etc., etc., etc.
And, because I loved these friends and their children, I was very happy for them. And, they had a right to be proud. But, my child was not on that level. He struggled in school. He worked very hard to get a ‘C’. A ‘B’ was THE most wonderful thing. Just finishing a project on time and remembering to turn it in was a major accomplishment. We struggled to keep up enough to pass. And, it had nothing to do with intelligence. It had nothing to do with ability. It had nothing to do with ‘want to’. It all had to do with ‘learning differently’. Some children can read a book and then sit and write a book report on it and pass a fill in the blank test. Other children read that book and actually go to that place and fight the dragons and save the princess…they live the book. They probably couldn’t pass that fill in the blank test…but that book is now a part of their soul. Which one is right?
So many times, we get caught up in seeing our children excelling…and it is important to have a goal and strive to meet it. But, for some, the goals must be different. There is, however, the same sense of accomplishment when met. I see parents who push and pull and punish and make it their responsibility to get their child through school with the highest grade point average ever. When a mother or father sits with their children as they do every single bit of their homework, every night…I want to tell them to ‘get a grip’! Homework should be done by the child. I’m not saying not to help when they get bogged down…but, so they miss some, that’s what it’s all about. New subject…work on problems…get some right…good…get some wrong…figure out why…LEARNING! But, if you have sit beside them and do it all with them, where is their opportunity to make some mistakes? There is nothing wrong with missing some on a test. There is nothing wrong with getting a ‘C’ or a ‘B’. What IS wrong is for them not to do THEIR best.
I think what I am trying to say is this. When you are in a group of friends, talking about your children…remember to include all the children. Celebrate the goals reached…even if they are not the same. And, this may come as a surprise to you, but…every child is not cut out for college! That’s right! And, that’s OK. Maybe it is a JR. college. Maybe it’s a training program. Maybe it’s going to work and being an apprentice to a craftsman. And, this is all honorable. When we were building The Creek House, it was staggering how much the hourly wage was for the man who laid our stacked stone fireplace. It is a work of art. But, a dying one. What a shame. Are their students who would love to work with their hands and create their own works of art, but are pushed and pulled to go to THE right college?
I was in Texas one summer with my family, and we stopped by a T-shirt stand, reading all the clever sayings that had printed on them. One of my boys came to me, and quietly said, “Look, Mom, I wish I had this one.” I looked at the one he was holding and it said, “THE WORLD IS RUN BY ‘C’ STUDENTS’. Finally, some acknowledgment of the average, middle of the road student. Finally, someone had said that these students mattered as much as those who were getting 2 or 3 degrees. We bought the shirt…he wore it proudly.
Is your world run by ‘C’ students? Who fixes your car, who cuts and sells the lumber you use to build this or that? Who comes and cleans your pool, who plants your yard and keeps it free of debris? Who runs the cleaners, the gas station, the zippy mart? Who grooms your dog, who resoles your shoes, who brings food to the farmers market? Who cleans your church, unstops your toilet, who fixes your quarter pounder with cheese, who paints your house? And, we could go on and on.
“For the Lord has blessed you in all the work of your hands.” Deuteronomy 2:7
All work is honorable. And, all who do honest work are to be admired.
Stop and think about the world you live in…and be thankful that there are ‘C’ students in it ! Hey, you may even want to thank them once in a while! They would love it!