Message from the principal
When my three children were little Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus was a favorite read aloud - of mine. This is the story of a rambunctious lion cub that is under constant surveillance from his worried and concerned parents. Despite their interventions, admonitions, encouragement and nags, Leo doesn't seem to do anything right. He can't read or write; he's also a messy eater. Leo is clearly not the perfect lion cub his parents had in mind.
My middle child, Adam, often reminded me of Leo. Adam was wedged between two highly competent, school-loving, and successful sisters. Energetic, high-spirited, full of fun, Adam was usually more comfortable with a ball than a book in his hand. An average student, his heart was rarely in his studies. My husband and I often watched and worried about Adam. Should we be pushing him more, demanding more? Could his teachers help? How could we get him to translate the hours willingly spent on the basketball court into concentration on his homework?
Although I recognized parallels between Adam and Leo, the harder part to see was my kinship with Leo's parents. The difficulty came in sorting out my expectations, timetable and dreams from what made sense for Adam. This is a challenge for many parents. There is a fine line between keeping expectations high for our children -- offering encouragement, strategies and support-- and wanting them to fulfill our visions of success.
Leo ended with enormous reassurance for this worried mother. Once the lion parents began to enjoy Leo and stopped their incessant watching, "in his own good time, Leo blooms." Adam also took his own good time to bloom. In part it was growing up, in part it was his parents appreciating who he was, encouraging his strengths, and putting aside our ideas of how and when he should bloom.
Here's to remembering to enjoy our unique, precious, goofy, serious children, who are blooming, getting ready to bloom, or just beginning to bud.
Have a wonderful weekend,