Friday, May 19, 2006

Questionable Parenting

I’m lecturing the recently turned 13-year old on the fact that he’s only got one more week to go – for one more week, just keep up the grades. He’s restless, as any of us gearing up for summer vacation were at that age. The furthest thing from his mind right now is homework. Now skateboarding? Another novel altogether. He’s an A-B student, who could probably be straight A if he really put his mind to it. But I mean really – A-B student…What? Am I gonna complain about his grades?

In the midst of my lecture he starts making faces - contortions and distortions of agony. I get a tad louder, pleading, “Come on, man! Just do this one thing for your mother! And for me!” (Surely that split-second add-on would help.)

The faces became sillier. I finally balked at him, “Look - what’s the problem? It’s not a big thing to ask!”

He says, “It’s just…with this song…”

At this point it finally snapped – we’d been partaking in Korn’s version of “Another Brick in the Wall” the entire time, on a CD that I gave him, no less.

So I briefly considered my mid-thirties hypocrisy and realized this was a pretty funny moment, but I also knew I had to save some face.

And that’s when I offered up my off the cuff, shiny pearl of wisdom:

“We Don’t Need No Education, but we do need good grades.”

And the more I thought about it, the more I felt justified in saying it. If I’m not teaching my kid some crackerjack B.S. thinking that could really be of use in his life, I am only doing some of the job.

He shot back with, “I think it’s pretty hard to get one without the other”.

Wow…to be so quick on the uptake and yet so naïve. If I could bottle that, I’d sell it and rule the world…but that matters not. My intention was only to give him advice concerning getting through the last week of school.

I replied, “It can be done. You’re a smart kid. Think about it for a while and you’ll figure it out.”

Hopefully he doesn’t figure it out and remember it at the start of the next school year.