This Science Project Blows

imageI’ve been quiet for a while now. Things of been absolutely crazy. Between managing the children’s activities, in addition to attempting to have a life of my own, this blog has been neglected. I should have written a post a while ago entitled “What Happened to My Activities,” now that my kids are playing sports, but that’s for another time.

This post is about Sam’s first science project, Balloon Blastoff. The science fair, which I found out is a BFD, is tomorrow (today, since I didn’t post this last night). I am really excited to see all the projects, but quite honestly I have become overwhelmed by a bunch of emotions: I feel intimated, embarrassed and a bunch of other things that I know I shouldn’t feel.

Recognizing Sam is only in Kindergarten, it was up to us to make sure that he did his project. I suck. I did not make him do it until two days before the due date. (Lesson #1 – don’t wait till the last minute). He loved doing the actual experiment, blowing up a balloon, taping a straw to it and having the balloon shoot across the room on a string, however when it came time to make his poster, I can barely begin to describe the meltdown that occurred. (While some may know, many don’t. Sam has ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder and ASD. When I say he had a meltdown, this was one of epic proportions, which I had anticipated, hence the procrastination on my part).

As much as I wanted to just do the poster for him, I held strong. I could have placed foam letters for the title. I could have typed and printed the information. I could have drawn the picture of the experiment. No one would have known, but I wanted him to write the title, explain the project and draw the picture.  This needed to be done by him. And, he did it…eventually…all by himself.

I was so proud. He then practiced his presentation for us. He did awesome! No prompting, no help. He explained the experiment and even spoke about propulsion, which we hadn’t really discussed!

I rolled up his poster and delivered it to the school this morning (yesterday) as instructed by the multiple, yes multiple, reminders from the teachers. I enthusiastically dropped it off and told them I would see them Friday because I took off work to be his “assistant.” I felt like THE SHIT. Maybe, just maybe, I would get this parenting and working “balance” down one day. Filled with a sense of accomplishment, I waved good-bye.

I was not even 10-ft from the exit of the building when a barrage of mothers (ok, it was only 3) came walking to the door carrying these amazing trifold, tabletop, tradeshow quality boards. I saw hints of glitter and puffy letters, string and diamonds and…WTF? I went from feeling like THE SHIT to complete shit in a matter of seconds.

I spoke with a few friends, one of whom is a teacher. She walked me in from the ledge (ok, I was standing on the curb of our street) and helped me to realize he did it all by himself. There will always be those parents who will do the projects so their children turn in the best at any cost (or maybe they “gave in” as I described above). Then, again, there are children who are super creative and excited by the glitter and glue. She reminded me to stand proud – which I am – of Sam and his project. He did it. All by himself. And, everyone will know HE DID IT!

The reality is I can’t be worried about what others think or try to “keep up with the Jones.” This reality doesn’t apply to just this situation, but in life. This Science Fair project has reminded me of many important life lessons: sometimes it really blows and other times we are propelled to great new places.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Kara says:

    You taught him responsibility. You taught him ownership. You taught him what pride in his own hard work feels like. Children whose parents do all of the hard work for them become adults who don’t know how to be independent from their parents.


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