Sunday, September 19, 2010

Daydreaming vs. reality

So we've started second grade. Amazing. Wasn't it yesterday that I was prying him out of the car to go to preschool? Putting stickers on a chart for each day he didn't cry? And yet here we are, moving further and further away from all those "baby" things.

He doesn't hold my hand in public, clinging as if for life itself. Instead he ventures a few feet away, puffed up with his independence and swaggering just a little bit.

At restaurants, he orders for himself, his voice quiet but sure.

At home we argue sometimes. Two very similar personalities trying to get the final word. Because I said so just doesn't seem to work like it used to. He prefers explanations.

My mother says he's another me, whatwith his stubbornness and imagination. I'm okay with that. You need imagination. Without it, what is life but dry facts and numbing repetition?

But never let it be said that life is without bumps. Gav's challenge this year is his imagination. Apparently it's working overtime -- particularly at school. Seems that his mind wanders a bit too much and his teacher needs to constantly remind him to stay on task. We received our first note of the school year. His teacher wants to know how to help him focus during class.

The problem is that I haven't an answer for her.

I spent the vast majority of my elementary education in my own little world, emerging just often enough to do my schoolwork and look like I was paying attention. I didn't struggle academically, which made it all the easier to attend school in body much more than in mind. There seems little point to a lot of the work we did, and I was often corrected doing things my own way (in spite of their being correct). Gav's pretty much the same way. He claims boredom -- and given that he's getting straight-A's -- I believe him.

Actually, I do have an answer for her.

Challenge him. Teach him something that interests him. Teach him something that, to him, has meaning.

Ah, but there's the problem. She can't cater to my son at the cost of his peers. I'm not unreasonable enough to demand it, either. Truthfully, I really don't see his daydreaming as a "problem," except for the fact that he needs to time it a little better and play by the mundane rules of life once in a while. Gav already knows that we expect him to remain focused on his work until it's done (and done correctly). Then, we said, he can let his mind wander to his heart's content.

A parent-teacher phone call is scheduled for tomorrow to discuss this situation. By the tone of her note, his teacher sounds like she values imagination in children, so I'm hopeful that things will go well.

Of course, no matter what, this sure as heck beats another four-boy kicking contest...