Dillan started middle school. I thought I might break down and cry right in front of him, but I held it together. So I was happy when he came home with his first honors English assignment and it was for me! Well, technically Kevin and I, but I knew who was going to do this. The same person that arranges all of the appointments, extracurricular activities, knows where every single person is at any given point in the day, and knows all of their measurements. Me. The assignment was in a million words or less describe your student. The teacher gave ideas of what to put in the body of the paper such as My student is best at.....(BTW, they can't put things like son/ daughter because there might be a grandparent, aunt, or witch taking care of the student. I learned this when I was the secretary of the PTG. Must be PC.), what are my student's weaknesses, what do I want my student to learn this year, etc. I knew that the teacher would get a lot of boring responses such as "My son likes listening in class, doing his homework, and going to school. He is wonderful at everything. I can't think of one thing I'd like to change about him. He's a gem." I don't know who this child is and have been beating myself up for years thinking that this child was possible and somehow I was doing it wrong. But my son is wonderful and talented and happily flawed. P.S. So am I. I meant the party about being happily flawed. So I decided that the best way to get my assignment to stand out in a sea of a hundred students, I comprised a poem about my boy, er, young man. Here goes.
A Poem Dedicated to Dillan Partridge, My Sweetheart *
Dillan is the eldest of four
And that means that he has patience galore.
Height has always been something he boasts,
If he had his choice, he would live on the coast
To study the life of ocean and sea
And snorkeling and surfing is where he would be.
A natural athlete is what he’s been blessed
And swimming is the sport he does best.
Violin is the instrument he plays,
But fiddling is what he loves to display.
Give him some free time and reading he’ll choose,
Even if it means sleeping he’ll lose.
Handwriting is something he’s trying to fix,
It used to look like he was writing with sticks.
Turning in homework in the past has been rough.
This summer he learned to do the right stuff,
By organizing, planning, and following through
And turning in assignments when they are due.
The subject of writing he needs to improve,
We hope that this year he can get in the groove.
As a teenage boy he’s growing up faster,
And if he ran out of food it would be a disaster.
My sweet little boy is growing up fast,
Before we know it, middle school will be past.
*Please do not tell Dillan I called him My Sweetheart. I would hate to embarrass him. OK, maybe I do enjoy embarrassing him, but not this time. Also, I apologize for any rules that may have been broken as far as meter, rhyme, syntax or any other English violations I may have made. Kim Partridge
His teacher responded that it made her smile to read the poem and appreciated the format I had chosen. Initially when I was composing the email, I asked if I was going to get graded on it, but then I thought "If I don't get an A, I will revise it over and over until I do, and I'm not sure I have the time for that right now." So, instead, I thanked her for the opportunity to reflect on my boy who I love with my whole heart, warts and all. Not that he has a warty heart, or that I have a warty heart, although I may use that phrase now to describe naughty people. "Oh, he didn't know it was bad to run over the old lady with his bike. He has a warty heart."