Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Stealing One More Year

My older son turned 17 recently.

It was a family celebration. We took him to a restaurant where he could enjoy a rack of ribs and got him his favorite cake. He also saw The Amazing Spider-Man 2. He’s now deciding how to spend his birthday money. Apparently, there’s an X-box game or two in his future.

He’s currently a sophomore, so he has two years of high school left. It’s going to go by quickly. I don’t know if I’m ready for it.

But it hit me recently that it could have easily been one year left.

When we moved here from Oregon, my older son was in the third grade. However, we moved during the school year. At the time, schools where we lived in Oregon began the school year about a month later than schools where we currently live in Georgia. It was more than a month between the time the kids left Oregon and the time we moved into a house in Georgia.

We enrolled our older son the day after we moved in. The schools were already focused on CRCT prep, tests he really had no hope of passing. After thinking about it, we figured he’d lost at least three months of school.

So we held him back a year.

It was an easy decision. Our son was young for his grade level anyway. Plus he had a learning disability. Re-taking third grade provided him time to mature.

For the longest time, my son complained about it. He often told people he should be one grade higher. We finally got it through to him that it was for the best and that he should move on. He has responded by excelling in school.

When his final two years of high school are over, I know he’ll attend college. I don’t know where he’ll go.

However, when my wife and I made the decision to hold him back, I know that neither of us was thinking about keeping him around one more year.

But it’s good to have him.