I sat in the gym with all of the other moms. I could see right off that this was going to be an interesting assembly. The children in Jared's class were going to present the projects they had been working on for the term. The project I talked to Jared about and he said he was doing it at school. When I asked him about the spoken part of his project he replied he was also doing that at school.
I sat there looking at the stage where there were grand pyramids, paper mache sculptures, a wooden sarcophagus complete with a mummified barbie, all sort of fantastic projects to show what they had learned about Ancient Egypt. One girl was even dressed in her best Egyptian costume. It was clear the children had help from home. What had I done? I left my son to do his project all on his own. I let him do it at school and I was genuinely nervous at the results.
The first three boys stood up and presented their projects and what they learned as if they were doing a news interview. It was great - and clearly written by an adult. I am fighting the tears knowing that Jared will soon have his turn and that his project will just not compare. Project after project gets presented and my stomach is just turning.
Jared stands up with his half sheet of paper and a display of plastic pyramids. They are made out of red, blue and yellow pieces that snap together to make perfect triangles. He had made about 15 of them. He stood up and read three short sentences that said he liked learning about Egypt, he had fun making the pyramids and he learned a lot. And he was BEAMING!
One of the other moms turned to me and said "parents should be banned from helping with this project". I then realized just how much Jared had done!! He took initiative. He made a plan and he followed through. His project was complete and done completely by him. He knew what he had done but why did it take me so long to realize it? I was so stuck on knowing that he has difficulties in school. Knowing that he could not produce something as extravagant as the other children. I was so proud of him - he was successful.
As the other classes left the gym they walked by the projects so they could see each one up close. I stood by and listened as kids walked by and they told him how well he did. How great all the pyramids were. I could have cried....again.
Lesson learned, I need to be proud about what he CAN do and what he does do and quit worrying about what he can't.
4 days ago