Thursday, December 17, 2009

Canada Report

Ha ha! The title of this post is designed to strike terror into David's heart. He and I both remember, so well, that weekend...

It was near the end of 6th grade. Mark was his scoutmaster, and the troop was scheduled for a campout. I was looking forward to a little quiet "me" time at home. And then David dropped the bomb: his Canada Report, assigned weeks before, was due the following Monday. And he had barely started. And he was now panicked and fessing up.

Sad, sad day. We waved goodbye to Mark as he left to head out with the other scouts. We went to the library (pre internet days). We scrounged up facts about Canada. I was an unhappy mama and he was an unhappy son.

I shouldn't have been surprised. This wasn't the first time we had been surprised with an unfinished project. But there was something about the Canada Report weekend that really got to both me and David. I began to despair that he would ever be successful in school. It wasn't long after that l-o-n-g weekend that we discovered that David, although very bright and in the Talented and Gifted program at school, also had Attention Deficit Disorder. I remember a conversation with his 4th grade teacher, Nancy Johnson. "What will he ever be able to do?" I wondered. "Don't worry," she said. "David is a good thinker, and the world needs thinkers." Even though I agreed that David was an excellent thinker, I wasn't so sure that would ever translate into marketable skills.

In high school, David did great on tests, excelled in drama productions, stank at homework. We insisted he maintain a B average in order to drive, and somehow he managed to squeak by with good enough grades to keep the license. I celebrated his high school graduation with a sigh of relief - we made it! But that wasn't the end of education, of course.

David's first couple of terms at Clackamas Community College weren't stellar, but he hung in there. I did, too, trying to strike a balance between nagging him about his assignments and letting him figure out how to manage adult college life on his own. Then he went on his mission. Came home and started back to school, dated a wonderful girl named Holly. When he and Holly married, I warned her that it was now up to her to make sure he kept up with his homework. "He'll need a planner," I suggested.

So she got him a planner. And he got better about using it. He finished at CCC and transferred to BYU-Idaho in frigid barren windy cold Rexburg, Idaho. Where he found his niche and was brilliant. Where his beautiful daughter was born. Where his wife decided to go back to school and complete her AA degree. Where he and Holly will both walk the stage at graduation tomorrow night.

So here I am, sitting in the Portland Airport, waiting to board a plane to Salt Lake City. Kendra and Chris will meet me at the airport, along with their darling kiddos, and we'll drive through into the night to Rexburg, where I will laugh and cry at David's college graduation. Where I won't even remind him about the Canada Report. Maybe.


Dorothy said...

Too late. I think he reads your blog! :) Great story with a happy ending. We're proud of David's accomplishments, too. Have a wonderful weekend!

JuliaKoponick said...

Have a great trip mom! We look forward to more updates!