Friday, March 9, 2012

Non-compete Clause

My first born son, Huey is incredibly shy and quiet. He’s a lot like me. It kills me and makes me cringe when I see him struggle. He is introverted and rarely pushes himself to go outside of himself. He seems to be so happy in his little turtle shell, but I worry that perhaps he gets lonely.

Huey is very intelligent. From the time he could sit up, he would play quietly by himself or entertain himself with a book. He has an incredibly long attention span. When he entered Kindergarten, he was already reading at the first grade level. He reads for hours and hours, he just devours books. He gets this from his mother as well.

Huey doesn’t do so well in school, mostly because he doesn’t turn in his assignments, but also because he doesn’t participate in class. At the most recent parent teacher conferences, both the teachers I spoke to told me that they would like to see Huey speak up more in class. We have our boys enrolled in a charter school and the kids that go to this school are extremely competitive. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, but I’m one hundred percent non-competitive and I don’t think that should be pushed on a child. You know that kid who sat in the front and put his/her hand up and answered every question? Just about EVERY kid in Huey and Dewey’s school is like that.

I have been told this by just about every one of Huey’s teachers; that he needs to participate in class more. In the past, I have talked to Huey about this and tried to encourage him to try harder to participate. This last time, when I talked to him about it, he said, “I do, Mom, they just never call on me”. The words of Mrs. Wong, Grade One Teacher echoed in my head: “She’s just so quiet, I never notice her!”

Huey is very tall for his age, but well proportioned. He is incredibly handsome. He has the most beautiful dark indigo blue eyes. He has the world’s greatest heart. He cares about the underdog and wants to end all suffering in the world. He is a deep thinker, very intelligent, and an extreme introvert.

I hate that he is being judged for something that is such a part of him. It’s like saying that he needs to breathe less or not have blue eyes. He’s a shy kid. He’s very well behaved and gets along with everyone. I hate that the only thing that the teachers have to complain about is that he’s TOO quiet. The Mama Bear in me came out this time.

I don’t know what caused me to snap; perhaps the fact that I’m trying to own my own shyness and the fact that I spent so much of my life thinking that I was less because I was “too shy”. I got so mad at the teachers. Not in their faces or anything, it was after Huey told me that he DID try at school, he was just overlooked.

I get it that in society that if you’re not jumping up and down with a sign flashing “lookit me!” and a blaring soundtrack that you can get passed over. I get it that we live in this ADD society and that it’s easy to get distracted. It just makes me mad that Huey has to deal with this and learn this stupid lesson too; the lesson that unless you speak up, you will be overlooked.

I have seen Huey in class. I have seen him raise his hand and answer questions. I have seen him make friends and interact with children his own age. I have seen him speak in public. I have seen him perform in public. I have seen him go about himself in his own quiet way and succeed. I have seen that he doesn’t have to put on a “persona” in order to succeed. This has actually helped me.

I have told him that being introverted is good. That he’s a good kid and that he should continue to be a good kid. I told him that he doesn’t have to change for other people. He shouldn’t allow his shyness to prevent him from being successful, and that it’s good to try new things and that he won’t die if he does.  That being shy is not bad, but it can prevent him from being successful in certain situations and that in those certain situations it will be necessary to overcome his shyness.

In doing this, my hope is that he will not grow up being debilitated by his shyness and think it a weakness. It is an endearing part of him and one of the reasons why I love him so much. He WILL be successful in life, he will just do it in his own quiet way.

My friend posted this video on Facebook. I couldn't have said it better myself.

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