Yesterday we took our son to the Kumon up in Manoa. He has always struggled with math but more now than in the past. He still has not mastered telling time and his class here in Hawaii learned borrowing and carrying while he was in NY. I feel like I taught him how to do it and I did not teach him well. Yesterday was a testing session to place him so that they could determine where to begin with him. I have known for some time that he is lacking in basic math skills. He still has to think about what happens when you add a number to zero. He does not naturally know what two plus two equals. He uses his fingers to figure things out. I knew all of this. I was not completely blinded to the problem. Now, I know that Kumon wants to enroll your kid so they will say things to you that will prompt you to enroll your kid. But the things that the woman told me today were truly a rude awakening, a slap in the face, a bucket of ice cold water. She said that she was disappointed at his math level given the school that he is going to. She said that we pay good money. I, of course, blame myself. If only I spent more time with him during the week. If only I helped him more; made sure he had extra work; got the tutoring he needed; was up to speed.
Then I started thinking about where all my time is going. For a long, long time, Keanu has told me that I let my work consume me. That it changes the way I act when I am at home. That I can’t separate myself. For just as long, I have poo-pooed him. I have thought that he is overreacting. But now I am thinking maybe not. And it is like a kick to the head. I know that I have justified this by saying that I get paid well for my time and all my work and that this supports our family; allows our son to go to the school he goes to; take the after school classes that he does. Clearly this is not enough. I am worried about my son’s behavior recently. His lack of patience with the learning process. His desire to rush through everything to just get it done; not to do a good job; not taking pride in his work. I feel like I have been a bad parent; neglectful.
The worst part is that I feel like everything that I thought that I knew is false. All the things that everything was based on; the adjectives that I used to describe my son; the stories that I told; I feel like it was just that, stories, not based in reality. The only thing that I know that this means for me, for us, is change. Things need to change. The way we live; schedule and run our lives. The things that I am doing for my son and not doing for my son; everything needs to be changed because things are not the best they can be for him. Maybe I am just exaggerating but I have felt like I am being crushed by this all weekend; maybe my new Weight Watchers plan is depriving my body of needed sustenance. In reality, I just feel tired. Only a few months back and I just feel tired. Change, it’s where we are headed.