A Happy and Thankful Life

A child’s pride

I heard something in my oldest nephew’s voice today that made me so very happy. Not what he said but how he said it. My sister called and the phone was passed to the other nephew and niece and finally came around to the oldest. I asked him how he was and how was school and he blurted out, “I got an 80 on my math quiz!”.  He was very excited and you could hear how proud of himself he was. He then added, “I think I got 100 on today’s!”.

I am happy for him. I’m thankful that he has found something that makes him proud.It’s not the numbers I focused on but how proud he sounded, especially after the start of the school year. He is the oldest and had a very rough 3rd grade year. Sadly, the school he attended last year failed him and he started 4th grade steps behind the other students. He strives for perfection and when he can’t do it, he gets frustrated and wants to give up. We had many conversations during his last visit to encourage him to try his best. And to practice. I tried many times to explain that we all had to practice. Learning new things isn’t always easy but the only way it gets easier is if you practice.

In elementary school, my family relocated from an urban school district to a rural school district. Besides the culture shock to my 9-year-old self, the new school was a year and half ahead of the other school. I remember coming home crying because I couldn’t get it and felt very stupid. It took a few years, great teachers and lots of practice to get back on track with math. I understand his feelings of frustration. But I also know how great it felt to finally have everything click together. I want that for him.

His current school is proactive and he is now being tutored in math. He is also practicing and is starting to see the payoff from his hard work. I’ve never heard him sound so excited and so proud. It was a glorious sound. I told him how happy and proud I was of him. And to keep up the hard work and always try his best. I think he’s getting back on track and I’m thankful for hearing that tonight. He’s a great kid. It’s beyond time that he starts to see that.




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