Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hope Springs Eternal in a New Month

February was a bad month for us. It was the snowiest in our area’s history. And it was the worst month of school for our son in the past year.

Kai capped off the month with two more major incidents at school yesterday. That made nine for the month. And that is nine more than in January when he incredibly went the whole month without one.

What makes it even worse is that his behavior at home seems to be deteriorating as well. In the past, when Kai had trouble at school, his behavior at home was usually pretty good. But, this month has been different.

He has developed a bad attitude. He is being more disrespectful. He doesn’t listen. He talks back. He is more disobedient.

It is frustrating; probably the most frustrating time I’ve had as a parent. I think I’ve given him more timeouts this month than in the whole last year.

A part of me understands that this may be, at least in part, just the natural result of him growing up. He wasn’t going to stay a sweet, innocent little kid forever. He is asserting his independence. He is challenging us. Certainly he is able to express his thoughts like never before.

But knowing this doesn’t make it easier. And as these seemingly endless grey winter days continue, I am looking for signs of a ray of light with our son’s behavior.

If I look for positives, I see that the month wasn’t all bad. Kai has started to sleep through the night with regularity for the first time in four years. In fact, he’s sleeping so well that it’s hard to get him up for school in the morning.

Wait a minute. Difficulty waking up in the morning? Bad attitude? Disrespectful to parents?

My son has become a teenager!

He had his birthday in February and I thought that he turned seven years old. But, the same quirk of nature that brought all that snow must have mysteriously aged my son by ten years instead of one.

Well, that would make sense since I feel like I’ve aged ten years, too.

I can only hope that the magical effect will be reversed in March.

Welcome, March! Good riddance, February!

Oh how nice it feels to turn the page; to get a fresh start.

Now, I know that things really won’t just magically change. There will be more grey days. It will snow again. My son will have more incidents at school. His behavior at home won’t suddenly improve.

But, somehow knowing that March will bring the official end of winter and the beginning of spring has created an air of optimism, a bit of hope.

Hope springs eternal. That’s my mantra for the month.

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