Hope and Homework, Today Anyway

He won't be nine much longer, this boy of mine who almost wasn't.  And nine is pretty terrific, and tough, all at the same time.

The past couple weeks have brought us to a crossroads with school work, in this, his first year of real grades.  This semester isn't going to look good.  But today?  Today was great! 

He burst into my arms the moment he reached the car.  I knew it was an exceptionally good day, because I'd received an email from his teacher.  "Mom!  I got to get off addition for Math Center and do multiplication and I PASSED!"  Yes, my fourth grader was stuck on the same (still) addition sheet for WEEKS, unable to finish the last three problems in the arbitrary two minutes.  My boy who has a little hitch in his brain body connection and who lets stuff get to him, like timed tests, like boys who are bullies, like girls who are "over" him because sometimes he gets stuck and he just "can't" get it. 

This is the same boy who is teaching others in his class to do long division, because that he gets.  Long division, he loves.  Multiplication, today, he loves.  Addition, not so much.  Ever. 

This is the same boy I reminded today how his teacher last year believed in him, and genuinely liked him, and who thought he was an amazing kid.  His teacher this year believes in him, genuinely likes him, and thinks he is an amazing kid.  I reminded my boy today that he has an amazing brain that is going to do amazing things someday; a brain that is already doing amazing things like long division.

He looked away, and swiped at his eyes.  He swiped at his eyes again, and then rubbed them vigorously. 

"Buddy?  What's the matter?"

"Sometimes I'm just so happy I have tears."

I swiped at my own eyes, so I could see the road before us, "You make me so happy that I have tears, too."