Monday, February 12, 2007

Junior year is Hell for my Andrew.


Andrew, my amazingly wonderful teenage son (17 to be exact) , I am finding is a challenge to parent in almost the exact opposite way as his 10 year old brother, who is afflicted with Bipolar Disorder (he's a whole 'nother post, baby!).

So, I will try to go back to the beginning, the very beginning. I HATE the SAT test. What is funny is that I believe I did pretty well. I can't actually remember my score, but I was called into my Headmaster's office and congratulated on a near perfect Verbal score (like that was a surprise). However, my Math score sucked. However, my Verbal catapulted me where I needed to be for the colleges I was looking at, so I didn't care. I only took it that one time.
Then a few years later dropped out of college, so I guess, for me, it didn't matter much.

Now back to Andrew. He's got his SAT's coming up in March. We have bought him the SAT Online Prep course from the actual makers of the test, and he's figuring out how to work that into his already tight school schedule. But, Robert and I could tell that he was stressed. For the last few weeks he comes home from school around 4pm, grabs a snack, then grabs the snuggliest of our 3 cats, Toonces, heads up to his room and passes out into sleep for 4 or more hours. Then he wanders downstairs, eats something, chats with us a little, and goes back to his room to do homework, goes to sleep around 2am, just to wake at 7:45 and start this stupid process all over again.

Why do I say "stupid"? Well, it's not Andrew. I have real problems with modern American schooling. (Again, a whole 'nother post.) One would think there would be a little more cohesiveness to the system. The amount of homework is ridiculous , and this , after a very long day of having my son follow their directions and move when their bell tolls etc... Andrew was homeschooled thru 8th grade, and mostly Unschooled at that. However, HE chose highschool. And there has been ALOT of good that has come of it. But also so much complete and utter bullsh*t! Robert and I have really missed him these highschool years. School takes up his whole day and invades his homelife at night. Now this junior year has gotten my son on the verge of depression. Thank God he is a drummer. At least he has a great outlet for stress. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few teachers pictures he'd like to tape to his drumheads and pound the crap out of! :-)

So, we talked to Andy about it yesterday. He admitted he was really stressed out so Robert and I came up with things to help make things easier for Andrew to study (uninterrupted by the 2 evil minions). Robert was just amazing. He is a fabulous Father. He didn't grow up with a Dad like the one he has become. There is a reciprocity to his fathering Andrew, not so much laying down the law. I told Robert later, I wish my dad could of been like that (one more time, a whole
'nother post). Anyway, I HATE the SAT. I HATE when human beings are reduced to a score which has the power to make or break the beginnings of a young persons life. Having a child with many special needs , makes me see how people are so different with lots of really different and cool things to offer the world, and how many of them are not going to do well on the SAT, and how defeating that is to someone just starting out into adulthood.

Well, I DO have 2 other kids which need attending to (one schooled who is home sick, the other homeschooled), so I have to go. I just think the pressure on teens today is overwhelming. The competion is intense. What are we doing to these kids? Is it any wonder the drug use, sexual promiscuity, the rampant psychological problems of anxiety, attention-deficit, depression etc exists in these teenagers. No wonder so many are pissed off and act out. So, if you have them, talk to them, tell them how proud you are of them, and that you love them like mad, that you are here to help. Oh, and hug and kiss them too, or give 'em a back rub. They may act as if they don't want it or need it, but they do. If they didn't why would so many of them end up in the backseat of a car with someone they are using or being used by? Take them out and do stuff. I take Andrew to concerts and Robert will take him out test-driving BMWs. We both like taking him to his favorite Drum stores, and watching him drum on different kits. HE IS ADORABLE!! I love watching him drum. He is so happy, free, and lost in what he is doing. It's awesome to watch his love and passion for his drums.

I guess the bottom line is that when he was little and things were going wrong, I could actually fix them and make them right. He is now getting to the age where he has got to see that HE can start to fix things and make them right. It's like when he was little I stood in front of him to guard and protect. Now I stand beside him to encourage and guide. Someday I will stand behind him with admiration and support. But always, no matter where I stand, it is with a tremendous love for my wonderfully amazing son, Andrew.

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