Thursday, November 06, 2008

I am in the interesting situation of having a teenager in the house during my midlife years, since we didn't have our only child until somewhat later than average. (If there is any "average" time to have babies any more!)

My son is wonderful and gifted and all those things you would expect me to say, but he is also a very different kid. Depending upon your mindset, you might describe him as eccentric or unique or just weird.

    •On one hand, he has a very high IQ. On the other, he has some ADHD-like issues with executive function, which means that he can't organize his way out of a paper bag, and often fails to turn assignements in on time, thus earning low grades.

    •On one hand, he is a classic math/science/chess nerd. On the other, he loves music and theatre and most of all musical theatre, and he is very talented in those areas. So he is alternately a loner and an exhibitionist.

    •On one hand, this is a kid who has been on anti-depressants since third grade. He can have a very dark world view. On the other, he has a sharp sense of humor and loves to make people laugh.

He went to a private Montessori school from age 3 through 8th grade, and is now a 9th grader at our public high school. We shopped around, but we were fortunate that our local public high school is a very, very good school. Given how different he is, I thought it would be to his advantage to be in a larger population, where he could more likely find a few like souls.

I guess it was a good decision, because there is no doubt that he is happier this year than I've ever seen him. But I continue to struggle, as I always have, with understanding what happiness means for him versus for me. He really hasn't made any friends yet, but I have to admit that this fact appears to bother me more than it bothers him.

Next week we will receive the first official grade card and have parent-teacher conferences, so I should get a lot better insight into how things are going then. I'll try to post something more when I've synthesized that!

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