Why Do You Think I Got All Those A’s?

Shane announced one day that I was lying in my blog. He had, apparently, taken some time to read it.

“I do care about college,” he said – with the same enthusiasm that one might use to announce that he likes pepperoni.

I had no idea what he was talking about, but I had never heard this sentiment before.

“You do care about college?” I asked him, incredulous. Then I realized: “That’s wonderful!” I shrieked, gave him a hug and started jumping up and down.

“Mom,” he said, but he smiled.

“Let’s dance! Let’s do a jig! You care about college!” I continued bouncing and jigging, grabbing Shane’s hands to do a bit of disco. He so rarely expresses any kind of interest.

When the moment ended, Shane said, “Yes, I care about college. Why do you think I got all those A’s?”

Shane’s second quarter report card had six A’s and one B. He started his high school transcript with two A’s – no small feat, and a spectacular accomplishment.

“And,” he told me, “I don’t even know what website you’re talking about, so I don’t care about an asterisk.”

He showed me the page on my blog that was “lying.”

“He wants straight A’s, but not because he cares about college. He wants straight A’s because he would get a little asterisk next to his name on the local “Honor Roll” website.”

“I didn’t know you cared, really,” I told him.

Shane and I had spoken late in the fall about how important his grades would be when he was trying to get into college. We talked about grade trending and hard work and studying and scholarships. It wasn’t a long talk; he’s only in 7th grade.

But Shane remembered it, and took it to heart. He never mentioned it again, but he cared enough to get his grades up. In fact, his name went up (with several other names) on the 7th grade bulletin board at school.

The category was “Most Improved.” Shane raised at least three letter grades from mid-quarter to the end of the quarter, and – the board said – he increased his GPA 0.43-0.53 points.

He didn’t know his name was on that bulletin board until his friend saw it. She told her mom, and her mom told me, and I told Shane. Then Shane and I went looking for it. Neither of us even knew there was a board!

It’s sad, when you have a great accomplishment and you don’t even know it. It’s sadder still when a mom doesn’t recognize that her son made a real, conscious effort to change – and succeeded.

But Shane knew he could get those A’s – and he knew it was important. And he wanted me to know that he understood the importance of grades and college.

So I am correcting my blog accordingly, by posting this.

And I am feeling so, so incredibly proud of Shane.


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