Posted by: ladybughugs | May 20, 2008

It Makes Me Proud

LFM suggested ‘Scout’ as a nickname for #1. He didn’t object.

I’d have to say I’m proud of him.

I gave him an iPod Shuffle for Christmas…with a Disney ‘Wishes’ CD and an iTunes gift card to get started. The CD didn’t go over so well. He was more interested in the music that came loaded on the iPod, some of which I couldn’t even bear to listen to to evaluate. Sometime in mid-January we were talking about the music he had and was listening to. He wanted ‘real’ music.

Me: :::thinking to myself, uh oh::: Real music? What do you mean by real music?
Him: You know, real music, like what we sing in church.
Me: :::thinking a huge sigh of relief::: Okay, I think we can manage something like that.


We’ve raised Scout conservatively. When he was born he was baptized Catholic. We chose my religion because I was more likely to be the one to take him to church and take an active role in his spiritual upbringing. When I say conservative, though, I’m not talking about religion (well, maybe a little).

We’ve been strict. He is a free spirit. He needs us like a helium balloon needs a string, like a boat needs an anchor…and it has taken both of us. Tag-teaming. Because he is active and smart and strong-willed. If we don’t stay on top of him he’d be all over the place. He forgets homework, he leaves things behind, long story short, he has trouble focusing on his responsibilities. It’s easy to get mad, because it’s like looking in a mirror and I get mad at myself for the same things, but then I remember I’m responsible for three people and he is responsible only for himself. He is not ADD or ADHD. He can sit and read or watch TV or play with his electronic game for HOURS!

Five years ago we made the decision to put him in kindergarten in parochial school. I work full-time. He’d been in daycare full-time. Public school kindergarten here is only a half-day, which seemed like a step backwards to us, a waste of time when he was already doing so much more. He was capable of so much more and needed the extra stimulation to keep from getting bored. Public kindergarten would have meant busing to daycare after school. We had the option of a private kindergarten at the center where he’d gone for pre-K. We also thought he’d have too much freedom in the public school, we wanted the extra structure and discipline that a parochial school would provide. The public schools have four classes in each grade; the parochial school we were considering has one class in each grade. Smaller classes. More one-on-one attention. More structure. More discipline. Religious instruction. Discovery of the true meaning of Christmas and Easter. A CHRISTMAS show. Not watered down. Not ‘politically correct’.

The religion, though, is only a small part of his conservative up-bringing. He did not get his Gameboy until his eighth birthday (a gift from Grandma). We don’t have TV-based video games. We carefully monitor what he watches on TV, mostly limited to PBS, Nick Jr., and Disney. And mostly G-rated. We listen to smooth jazz or classical music. So far, so good.

We don’t tolerate foul language. We don’t use it ourselves. There is no name-calling.

And so we have a mostly very sweet nine-year-old who is one awesome big kid.

I’ll admit, he’s probably more sheltered than most. Maybe even a little more than necessary. We don’t let him ride his bike in the street. We don’t let him play with his little sister in the front yard unless there is an adult with them. So far it’s working for us except that sometimes it’s hard to explain. I wish I had a crystal ball to see how all this will turn out. Do you have a story about where you’ve been and where you are now? A story of holding on and letting go?


  1. As his godmother, I may be considered biased, but he is a very awesome kid!!!

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