This morning, I attended an Honor Roll Breakfast at the grade school my kids attend. Clayton got straight As last quarter so we celebrated his success today. When the principal called the kids’ names, they walked on stage to accept their certificates. The teachers were standing alongside the principal and most of the kids either shook their teacher’s hands or gave them hugs. When it was Clay’s turn, however, his teacher reached out her arms to give Clay a hug but instead, he did some weird-looking, double high-five type maneuver. He may be a straight A student, but he’s still my Clay.
After all the kids had received their awards, I got up so I could kiss my kids goodbye and head to work. On the way out, I stopped and said hello to Clayton’s teacher.
“Hi, Ms. Meehan!” Then to Clay, “Good job, Clayton!”
In response, Clay crossed his eyes and made a goofy face.
His teacher continued. “Clayton is one of my best role models in class now.”
I glanced at Clay who was hopping around like he was standing on hot coals. Then I looked back at her for confirmation that we were indeed talking about the same kid.
“Clayton?” I asked, dubiously. “He’s a role model?” I asked, certain I’d misheard her.
“Yes!” she confirmed, smiling at us.
Now, this is the same kid who got in trouble regularly in kindergarten. And first grade. And the beginning of second grade. This is the same kid who was written up for throwing corn across the lunchroom, punching a kid, standing on the toilet and hanging from the bathroom stall, kicking a kid, pushing a kid down, and calling a kid names.
This is the same kid who came out to my car one day after kindergarten, and when I asked him if he’d gotten in trouble at school, answered, “Nope, I was good today.” When I asked him, “Then why is your teacher walking out to the car?” he frantically yelled, “I don’t know drive, drive, DRIVE!” as he ducked down in my car.
This is the same kid who writes books about poop, and dances around the house making silly faces. The same kid who tried to eat Brooklyn’s homework last night. The same kid who ricochets off my van while shouting, “Parkour!” every morning.
I had several people tell me I should be proud of myself because I did such a great job raising a straight A student. No way! If I take credit for his good grades, I’ll have to take credit for his um, “oddities” and there is no way I’m willing to do that!