Thursday, February 16, 2012

Loving Donovan for different reasons

I was going to share a little story about how last week at ski school Donovan shared a chairlift with some man who had, "a really cool mustache." When he said, "really cool mustache," he used his fingers to draw on his own face the curving shape and then how the ends were rolled into points. I asked him if he told the man he liked it and Donovan grinned and said yes. When I asked if it was a young guy or a dad or something he said, "Well, I saw that he had some silver hairs in his mustache, so I think his kids are all grown up." Then we talked about the pros and cons of mustaches and wondered if we should send him to ski school with a fake 'stache from now on. I suggested he sign his name with a mustache under the n for branding from an early age. This is how we work here. Joel supports the idea of every kid having their own logo. So I giggled when Donovan shoved this valentine under my bathroom door:

And I loved him and vowed I would take a picture to document his first mustignature.

But then yesterday was one of those days. One of THOSE days. Where the planets have aligned and all of the children are out of sorts and they're behind in their assignments and my hormones are bubbling like a 5th grade science fair volcano project. And then you get a call from a teacher. In the middle of the day. To share a problem where your child is at fault. One of THOSE days. Who, let me be very clear, I love. I think she is one of the best teachers I've ever come in contact with. And maybe that's why I was so sad. To her credit, she did not send Donovan to the principal's office, which is something she had every right to do.

It turns out that as the kids are leaving school and the teacher walks them out, he and some friends have been stalling and then sneaking back into the classroom to take another hershey kiss. For a couple months now. To his credit, he confessed everything. The teacher didn't know they were stealing candy, she just knew another teacher had told her the boys were goofing off and going back into the classroom. I appreciate that he told the truth (and I have my ways of verifying that it was, in fact, the whole truth - the first being I can see it in his eyes), but stealing is stealing.

So last night I had him gather all of his Valentine's candy to give to his teacher. Then we took the money he has earned through doing extra chores and went to the grocery store. I wasn't sure if we should make him use all of his money, but Joel was adamant that this was how a lesson is learned. He received $1.34 in change and vowed to earn it all back with more chores. The thing that makes me the saddest is that I know he's better than that. And his teacher knows that. She expressed over and over that she knows he will never do it again and that she loves him. Donovan wrote his teacher a letter:

So now we have two very different stories, two pictures, two examples of the good and hard of parenting, and two very different reasons I love this kid and want only the best things for him.


Nataluscious said...

If you follow me on FB you know I have THOSE days too - and letter writing is priceless way to remember those punishments. I think that's one of the hardest parts of parenting - knowing your kids are wonderful souls but also seeing them make mistakes that can show their not-so-wonderful sides. I think sometimes its so painful because we see ourselves in them, but we only want to see the bright shiny stuff. You and Joel handled it beautifully of course, and I am 100% confident its something Dono will remember all his life and be the better for it. And that's the best kind of punishment to have.

Angie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angie said...

Go MOM!!! I don't think there's a bad bone in that boys body....he's just creative:)