Celebrate the Good, Forget the Bad

I have, once again, been worrying about Jamie’s performance at schoool. Final exams are coming up, I’m seeing very little studying, and my offers to help are quickly dismissed. With some of his marks being borderline, a bad exam could mean the difference between passing and failing the course.

I think as parents, we all want our kids to do well, to be happy and engaged in life. It’s hard for me to hear Jamie talking about how stupid school is, and how stupid he is. Nothing I do or say seems to make a difference.

Today, I ran into a woman who I used to spend a fair bit of time with, but whom I hadn’t seen in several years. Her son, who has ADHD, struggled throughout his childhood. He’s now at Yukon College, and failing every subject he’s taking. He never did graduate from high school. In my friend’s words, “Life sure doesn’t turn out the way you expect.” And yes, by many accounts, her son might be considered a failure. But there are the positive things too: he’s living on his own. He just got a part-time job. He spent a week at home with his family over Christmas and everyone held it together. Those are no small feats for someone who doesn’t fit the mold.

Life is hard sometimes. Things get thrown at you that you need about as much as you need a hole in the head. People disappoint. Curve balls come at you from an invisible and strong armed pitcher. But my friend’s words were a good reminder to me that the best thing you can do is fiercely celebrate the good in as many ways as you know how, and say ‘to hell’ with the bad.

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