It’s so weird watching from my perspective now. Parents losing it over a bad call by a referee or a bad test score. That one moment is not going to define a life.
You gotta let go of the high achievement thing.
Let it go! Next week you won’t even remember that lousy call by the ref. We have forgotten to let kids be kids and to allow them to fail, grow and learn from it. We have forgotten to let them have free time for fear that a moment of unstructured time will mean they’ll not get into college or fall into the wrong crowd. Or God forbid be bored!
We’re too invested in how our kids make us look. Like once we grow them up we can shine them up and put them in a trophy case to show we did a good job.
But trust me. When things start to fall apart, the last thing you worry about is bad test scores because you are hanging onto your child for dear life. For the short time Charles was in high school here in Virginia, teachers would call about missing assignments. With one exception, no one was asking about the bigger issue–why he was not motivated to do the work he was clearly capable of.
I felt like I was seeing the achievement thing from a different perspective once our lives started going off the rails. The “I don’t give a rat’s ass” perspective. Which was only magnified after Charles’ suicide.
Nothing like your kid killing himself to really whack you in the side of the head to let go of the little stuff.
When I have days that I don’t “achieve” what I want to, I remember this quote Charles wrote. It’s so perfect.