He Did Absolutely Nothing.
Dylan flunked a Biology quiz.
The grade appeared online, to my dismay, while Dylan was at school. I had no recollection of Dylan studying for a quiz, so I shouldn’t have been terribly surprised. But somehow, oddly, I was surprised.
I started emailing teachers: please let me know when there’s an upcoming quiz or test, I pleaded, painfully aware that Dylan is 15 and should know these things already.
Within the course of a few hours, I learned that Dylan had a Geometry quiz and a unit test in Spanish – both scheduled for the following day. In addition, he had a substantial number of missing assignments in Computer Science.
He went to Homework Club – his after-school saving grace, which is supposed to give him time to concentrate on what really needs to be done. During that hour, he worked on completing his missing work for History class.
Then I picked up my son from school.
I was calm. I asked about the missing assignments, and he assured me that there were no missing assignments. “I turned everything in,” he said.
I asked him about the Biology failure, and he assured me that it was no big deal. “Everybody failed that test,” he said, as if I care about everybody.
I asked him about the looming quiz in Geometry, and the test in Spanish, and he assured me that he was completely ready for both of them. “I studied like an hour and a half for Spanish already,” he said. “And I already know all of my Geometry. We’ve been doing it all week in class.”
We arrived home, and Dylan did what Dylan always does. He went upstairs with his cell phone, and locked himself away in the music room to write digital music, sing, and play the keyboards.
Dylan came out for dinner. His father asked him about the quiz he failed, the missing work, the upcoming tests. Again, Dylan insisted that he’d done everything he needed to do and was completely ready for everything.
I hadn’t seen him crack a book all week. He didn’t open his binder even once at home. And those tests are going to happen whether he is prepared or not.
I thought about this for hours, while Dylan stayed in the music room. I heard him singing in the distance. I thought about his tests. I thought about his missing work. I thought about him for hours, while he did absolutely nothing to resolve his own situation.
For hours, he did absolutely nothing to resolve his own situation.
At about 9:00 p.m., Dylan bounded out of the music room. “Mom!” he squealed. “I finally finished my song!”
“Dylan,” I said calmly. “Right now, I really don’t care about your song.”
I broke his heart.
And a little piece fell off of my heart, too.