It’s not easy being 10, I imagine. When I was 10, I didn’t have the kind of pressure Christopher has on him these days. He’s in 5th grade and has homework and sports and friends and family and…well…maybe my life wasn’t THAT different, when I look at it that way…but yeah! He has it a LOT different than I did and I’m trying to adjust. What do I mean by ME trying to adjust? Well…
When I was 10, I don’t remember having the amount of homework that he has. I’m sure I had homework, but I don’t remember it taking me 2 hours to complete and then 20 minutes of reading time at the end of my day.
When I was 10, I wasn’t the starting quarterback for a football team. When I was 10, I wasn’t even playing basketball yet! Christopher has been playing sports since he was 4! So he has had THAT going on for well beyond when I got started.
When I was 10, I didn’t have a pack of friends to compete with. For me, living on a farm in the middle of nowhere, being able to have a single friend over to play was a treat. For Christopher, it’s normal for him to have 3 or 4 friends over at any given time. And they are all in sports. All the time. So it’s very competitive around here day in & day out.
When I was 10, my Dad was home every weekend. Christopher’s dad is not. Not making any excuses…just sayin’.
So there are a LOT of differences between my son and I at his age. But the most glaring difference is just how much faster he has had to grow up. I don’t know what it is…I can’t quite put my finger on it…but chatting with him the other day, it seemed almost as if he was 15. He has so much to learn and yet he is WELL above where I was when I was a preteen. I don’t know if it’s technology, or where he lives, or his schooling, or his mother or what. But when we have a really good conversation, I realize that he a lot smarter, a lot more athletic and a lot more advanced than I ever was.
I hear a lot about education and our social environment. There are a lot of things to worry about when you’re a parent. One of the things I worry about the most is that my kids are growing up in a society filled with pressure. Pressure to perform at the highest level in school, in sports, at home, with his friends. I want him to not feel that pressure. I want him to take his time growing up, to enjoy NOT having pressure. Unfortunately, I think it is in our culture now that kids his age have to grow up faster in order to stay ahead of the curve. Gone are the days of easy living in Mayberry. Now it’s all about getting ahead, being stronger, bigger, faster! The schedule my kids keep is exhausting to me. Just looking at their schedule gives me the shakes. It’s crazy but they both seem to enjoy it that way, especially Christopher who is besides himself whenever he has to stay in the house due to weather or illness. Today he received this note from one of his teachers…
Like any proud parent, I gush over this because a lot of times, I worry that he is falling behind. But he’s not. I imagine he is right on pace with all the other kids his age and doing very well for himself. He might not grow up to be an astro-physicist but he is doing a lot better than I did at his age, I’m sure. And who knows? The sky is the limit these days. I just hope he can keep his demeanor and his wit as time goes by. Don’t let things get to him and keeps a level head, even as the world seems to be exploding around him. He’s a great kid, an awesome son and one of the best friends anyone could ask for and it seems that as much as I worry about him…he’s doing A-okay on his own. He seems to be taking life in stride and, at his age, that’s really all I could ask for.