I Did Everything For You!
While Dylan was feverish and housebound, I emailed his case manager. She emailed the teachers. I emailed the teachers. I emailed some of the teachers more than once. Then, after several days, I emailed the principal. I emailed Dylan’s counselor – twice. Someone even contacted the attendance secretary so that she would stop leaving automated messages on our phone, reminding me that Dylan was absent.
I did everything I could to make sure the teachers knew: Dylan was going to need some help when he got back. He was going to need some extra time, some excused assignments, some help from everyone.
But Dylan didn’t see it that way. He went right back to business as usual – which is to say, he went back to doing virtually nothing.
After a week of Dylan sick and me in charge of school stuff again, I lost my cool. In fact, I completely blew up.
“I have been doing everything, Dylan!” I yelled. “While you were lying on the couch and couldn’t even lift up your head, I emailed your teachers! I emailed your case manager! I emailed your counselor! I even emailed your principal!”
I went on and on and on, about all the stuff I’d done – how hard I’d worked, how many times I checked his grades online, how much I’d done … for him.
I should have been more cognizant. The things I do “for him” are no longer helpful.
Still, I wanted Dylan to take note. I wanted him to step up and do what he needed to do, since I’d done so much … for him.
So I kept ranting. “I did everything for you – for a week! I made sure everyone knew what was going on, and I made sure you knew what you were supposed to be working on! I did everything I could to make sure that you don’t fail this quarter!”
Dylan stared blankly into space. He said nothing. So I kept going. I tried a calmer approach.
“I want you to understand, Son,” I said. “I feel like I have been holding your head above water for a whole week! And now I’ve let you go, and I’m afraid you’re going to drown!”
Dylan finally looked at me. He didn’t blink.
“I know how to swim,” he said.