Slow Exhale

I’ve been told before, “Your sons are not the same”. I didn’t need to be told that. When they were little they looked very much alike and although they are 21 months apart strangers would stop and ask me if they were twins. They both were tow head blonds with bowl cuts. But, that is where the likeness ended. Tanner was as effervescent as his younger brother, Maxson was cautious and shy. This is a story about Maxson. I’ll tell the lesson of this story upfront. It goes something like this. “What you focus on grows” or “children are resilient in spite of their parents” or something like that.

Maxson has always been reserved and while he is a very intelligent person with a quick engineering mind, a traditional school setting has never been the place where he shines. Give him a project, something to fix, or something to build and he will dazzle you! This is his senior year in high school and last fall I had reason to panic because senioritis seemed to be kicking in early and with a vengeance. I know that all seniors go through this to a degree. Yet, I kicked into “I will drag you across that graduation stage” mom mode. I arranged for him to work with a couple of subject area tutors every week. Looking back this was probably overkill. He probably didn’t need it as much as I needed to do it.

A mere three months later and this young man has matured and risen to the challenges in his life that stand between him and that graduation stage. He gave a presentation in our faith congregation today about the Boy Scout Eagle project he is organizing  which he needs to be complete within weeks after his graduation. On his own he also arranged for a job at Gerber Boy Scout camp this summer. How did things turn around so quickly for this young man? Maybe it was because he started seeing that he was capable of success. Maybe he saw his parents’ faith in him. Maybe success breeds success. Maybe his latent resiliency was there all the time and I worried for nothing. What I do know is that I am damn proud of this kid! He’s going be fine. Exhale…


2 thoughts on “Slow Exhale

  1. I am not a parent but I teach high school kids and when you see them slipping you automatically try to push or help them along! A lot of the time all they need is a little encouragement. It still amazes me how in the end it usually seems to work out.


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