As with any big adventure, there's always that big ol' list of "to-do's" necessary to cross off before departing. Some of them have been fun (like shopping the bulk candy bins at WinCo to purchase the everything-I've-been-abstaining-from-for-the-last-month goodies for the trip), and of course, others have just been burdensome (i.e. - that candy abstinence!). It's been a similar deal for the kids and boy-oh-boy did things hit the fan this evening for Brayden.
Brayden's strong points do not include planning and preparation - or even organization. He's also been a lot more "hands off" in his communication with us regarding where he's at with projects at school. Combine that with a kid who "lives to play" and struggles with inattentive ADHD and you have a perfect storm brewing when it comes to work required to accomplish before and during his trip (especially when you throw in him missing school from getting sick at Harlow). The last couple of mornings have not been pleasant between the two of us. He is SPENT and I am frustrated he's not giving his full effort. I'm sure I'm the only mom in the world of a teenager who's ever dealt with this....
From the moment Brayden walked through the door home from school this afternoon, he was one upset kid. I got one-word answers from him about what exactly was the problem, so it was difficult to decipher - but in a nutshell his teacher expected him to complete a massive project by the next day when the rest of the class didn't have to turn it in until Monday. Now, as a "Type A" personality, I would guess that he might have had a little foresight about this unfortunate tragedy prior to the "night before" - but I thought it might just be throwing salt in the wound to mention it. So, with a lot of help and just the right "Holy Spirit inspired 'man up' pep talk" from John - we forced Brayden into a recognition that he WAS going to complete the project by the next day. HIS plan was to send an email to his teacher hoping he could extend the due date, and just check his email for a response for the rest of the evening. (At that point, he was very emotional, very upset, and just wanted to bury his head in the sand because he was so overwhelmed).
I'm pleased to say that 5 HOURS LATER, the project was complete. Now, I have confessed in the past that sometimes the kids' projects were really more "our projects" - but in this case, he did the dirty work. John and I only helped with the lay-out in terms of cutting or rubber-cementing....but he did all the typing and decision-making. Its a timeline for Ancient China and I think he did a great job, but I suspect, with his teacher being as tough as she is, she'll still have wanted more. But, as for us, as parents, he succeeded and we went to bed all feeling victorious having surmounted a huge hurdle prior to departure.
Not to be left out, I will tell you that Mikayla also had an emotional melt-down (code for crying) upon seeing the work she needed to do before returning. However, her teacher made it super clear that it was only to be done if she got around to it....I was there, Mrs. Fitzgerald did NOT want any tears resulting from the packet of work Mikayla took home! She just wanted Mikayla to not feel overwhelmed upon returning. But, my daughter who is very much "Type A" - felt the need to get it all done upon receiving it and was panicked at how much it felt like she needed to do to keep up. Oh Sweetheart, there is absolutely NO QUESTION as to where you get these emotions!
But, on the flip side, we did get to have a fun activity to do as well. Mikayla absolutely adores the experience of a pedicure at Bello - so we usually add that as a gift certificate in her stocking at Christmas. We opted to schedule it prior to this trip for obvious reasons and we had a lot of fun in our "happy place" getting pampered. I found some cute mani-pedi stickers for her at Target, so she was able to have a Hawaiian flower on each of her big toes...it turned out so cute.
On top of all of mine and the kids' to-do's - nobody has had more to accomplish than John. I'm so happy we are almost there!!!!