Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Driving To Distraction

I’ve been prepared for the fact that The Quartet’s roads would diverge at some point in their lives and they would each take their separate paths to glory. I expected it to come in their teenage and young adult years, however, with their choices of friends, music, jobs and other interests. I didn’t expect it to be so apparent so soon. Like tonight. C and JP have been on the same road – same parents, same house, same routine, same basic life – but C has decided to get in the HOV lane and break some speeding laws while JP moved to the shoulder so he could get out and tinkle on a daffodil.

I know this is wrong to talk about. I know some of you parents are cringing right now, wondering how I could possibly compare my children to each other (in public, that is, I know you all do it). This is what I’m thinking about, though, and this is what Urf! is all about. Understand first that my love for these kids is as unconditional as it comes, and that before I would allow anything bad to happen to them, I’d give up my left foot, and it’s the only one I can still feel! But tonight, I came home from work to find a package from one of C’s teachers containing his CLUE evaluation. CLUE is the advanced program he’s in at school and his evaluation was glowing. There was also a self-evaluation where C answered questions honestly concerning his interests, what he hoped to achieve and even his shortcomings. Then there was a book he brought home with information on the Memphis City School’s Optional Program and on the cover is a photo of C himself. Later in the evening he completed a Sudoku puzzle in the paper and helped me solve their chess quiz. JP, bless his heart as my mom would say, ate some pizza, bathed and dressed himself for bed. All good things. All necessary activities. We still haven’t sat him down to discuss the ‘U’ in conduct he received the other day at school, or why the homework he completed the night before didn’t find its way to school, but there is time for that. He’ll be with us for quite a while, I’m afraid.

Again, this is the wrong way to look at the situation, I understand, but this is what I faced tonight and I just wanted to put it out there. I know all parents of multiples go through this. I know it must have been difficult for my own parents watching my siblings straining to keep up with me as I swerved into that left-hand lane and they lost me in the horizon, but it doesn’t mean they loved them any less. JP will catch up to C, I’m certain of that. He’ll have to, JP will be the only mechanic C will be able to trust with his Bentley by then.

[Incidentally, on that road they were traveling down tonight, S would have been taking out pedestrians with her front bumper and GK pooped in my car.]

3 comments:

Elizabeth Alley said...

I take issue with you claiming that your siblings had trouble keeping up with you, however I am currently too distracted by a random shiny object to come up with any examples. Preeeeetty.

Sweet Sassy Molassy said...

How foolishly you imagine that we live in a society that rewards the contemplative. JP will be CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and C will live in our basement and make independent "films" about his angst using only a black sheet and a Super 8 camera. Just wait.

Anonymous said...

Your post made me cry. At 35 (35!), my brother still thinks he's not very smart because he wasn't good in school -- and he still talks how "everyone knows" that our sister and I are smarter than he is. This from a man who is a trained chef, a self-taught cabinetmaker, a self-taught welder, an artist, a motorcycle repairman ... he's the Renaissance man I will never be, and he doesn't believe it when I tell him I envy all of his amazingness. The world is really, really tough on kids who don't follow the rules or excel at what's expected of them. And god help them if they have siblings who do. Good luck.