This week they had parent-teacher conferences at #1 Son's school, and we got to see his grades for the quarter. Actually, I sat out in the car with a sleeping toddler while The Man went and talked to the teacher. When he came back out, he said, "We need to stop giving this guy white bread, and take all the sugar out of his diet." Then he proceeded to tell me about something unrelated that happened in his class that day.
I scowled. Not that I didn't want to hear about his day, because I did. I just really wanted to hear the more urgent news at the time. Well, said TM, #1 Son is probably better suited to being an artist or writer than a scientist or mathematician (which is what he wants to be-- one of those). He got out the report card and pulled the Pollyanna routine that he's so incredibly good at. "Got a B+ in art, an A in karate, an A in music..." (I hope no one heard my gasp, but the boy is, after all, tone deaf.)
After saying something congratulatory like, "That's great, kiddo!" we noticed that #1 Son was in the back seat sobbing. "I don't want to be an artist!" he wailed.
Sigh. So I asked how the rest of his grades were. Spelling: F, science: F, 4th-grade math: D+. Wait, D+? Wasn't he getting a B a few weeks ago? What's up there? No clue forthcoming from the back seat. Composition: C-, Reading: C-, Spanish: C. Well, there's a bright spot. Hey wait, he's got a B+ in history/geography. Excellent! "You don't have to be an artist after all-- you can major in history!"
Louder wails from the back seat. "But I want to do math and science!"
At this point, TM went into lecture mode. You know, about going with your strengths, it's no shame not to be good at everything, or even at the things you really want to be good at. The advice about not burying your talents. You know the spiel.
At some point in this tirade, I burst out laughing and just couldn't stop. My darling husband is an entertaining and creative writer (visit him here), not to mention a budding artist. But he's taking calculus I for the third time (this time, we're gonna pass, darn it!) in an effort to get a biomedical/computer science degree. It would be a really cool degree, honey, in a really cool field, but, um, are you listening to yourself?
I don't know whether he'll re-evaluate his career path, but I'm guessing not. Got to set an example for the kids, you know.