It Really Was My Decision.
Now that he’s not forced to make Honor Roll, Dylan seems content with his abysmal grades, even the dreaded ‘C’ he’s possibly getting in science.
He’s so happy, in fact, that he didn’t bother to do – or turn in – his 10-page forensics review packet before the day of his final science exam. Instead, he called me from school.
“I left my review packet at home,” he said. “And apparently I have to turn it in today.”
After finally locating it among the rubble of his science exam study materials, I discovered he’d only completed two of the 10 pages in the packet. I screeched at him over the phone.
“I can do it in like eight minutes,” he assured me calmly – since he was standing in the school office, using their phone. “It’s really not going to take that long.”
“It is going to take long!” I screamed. “It’s completely blank!”
“I only forgot to do a couple of pages,” he said.
“NO!” I yelled. “I’m standing here looking at it!” I counted out loud. “EIGHT PAGES! You didn’t do EIGHT PAGES!”
So much for my 30-day Conquer Anxiety Challenge. My anxiety beat me to a pulp – and Dylan along with it.
Eventually, I told him I wouldn’t bring it to school since he hadn’t completed it anyway. I agonized over allowing him to live with his consequences when he’d actually studied so hard for his science exam.
Then I called my husband and yelled at him because he was studying science with Dylan and didn’t tell him to finish his packet. And I called my mom, to whine about my husband and my son. “I don’t know how they can live like this!” I wailed.
Then I got my hair cut, and I told my hairdresser about Dylan’s unfinished science packet. After that, I went to the dentist, and told the hygienist about it.
I wanted someone to say that it would be a good idea for me to take the packet to Dylan, who will already be living with those disastrous consequences starting on Day One of 8th grade. Everyone just nodded and listened. In spite of my babbling, no one told me what to do.
It really was my decision.
So, two hours later, I broke down and took the science packet into the school. Dylan was in the middle of an exam and, I told the secretary, he should only have the packet if he finished his exam early enough to get it done.
I left feeling hopeless, drained, and not sure I’d done the right thing.
Dylan called me after school. “Thanks for the review packet,” he said.
“Did you get it done?” I said, my voice still too shrill.
“Yeah,” he said, still calm. “And I turned it in. Can I go to Safeway with Mabel and Alia?”
“Sure,” I said.
Later, I picked him up as if nothing had ever happened.