I'm headed off to write in just a minute. Funny how, once you get past the near "spiritual experience" of writing a first draft, it becomes all about the mechanics. It's a far more "professional" looking story at this point than it was three weeks ago. I remain true to my storytelling instincts on this though. The edits aren't about the plot at this point.
My oldest was complaining about his tough English teacher a couple of days ago. I told him she was doing him a favor, that he needed to be challenged more now so college wouldn't overwhelm him (the way it almost did me). He's in an advance English Composition class, on the school publication team, and is a managing editor the school year book. He's also a very talented young man who is prone to "skate by" rather than really apply himself to his school work (Making a lot of Bs and Cs when he could be making all As). He's also prone to be a little self-centered with respect to his personal relationships, primarily his family. As I understand it, this a fairly typical teenage boy, but, frankly, this has also been him since he was two years old. One of our goals as parents has been to keep him real without deflating him. One of my oft repeated lines when I'm lecturing him is "It's not all about you." However, in the face of his complaining yesterday, I told him, "For once--this is all about you. This is your future. I can't make it happen for you. The teachers can't. Your friends can't. All we can do is challenge you enough that you're prepared for it. It's up to you to get in the habit of meeting the challenges." I could see the look on his face when I said it to him, a look I see all too rarely. It reached him. The last two nights he's come home with mountains of homework and disappeared into his room for two hours. No excuses, no "oh I can do it tomorrow"s or "I think they'll give me more time if I ask". I am holding my breath for him.