At dinner tonight I was talking to my older son. He didn't finish a timed math assignment at school. I asked him why. He shrugged his shoulders and offered a lazy "I don't know."
Like a lot of parents, I asked the question but I already knew the answer. I see his papers. His mind wanders, he gets stuck on problems and can't move on. He draws on his papers. I know this because he's kind of a spaz. I know what a spaz looks like.
Tonight I started going through the last remaining part of the odds and ends from my mom's house. It wasn't her stuff, it was mine. Stuff I just left at her house after I moved out. Stuff I didn't have much interest in going through.
In what was once my old toy box, I found a collection of papers from high school. Obviously for me to keep these school items for so long they must have represented my highest academic achievements up to that point. I knew one day I would want to look back on them and see the foundational building blocks of my intellect within the College ruled lines. Yeah, fat chance.
Most of my papers contained smatterings of completed work along side vast side margin murals. I drew stuff...scary stuff. I wrote poems, and song lyrics. If my work involved several pages they would include a flip-the-page animation.
My side margins were often dark and if analyzed through the filter of the 21st Century, my high school would've been in lock down with television news helicopters flying over until the day I graduated.
I was never dangerous though, I was just a spaz.
Like a time capsule, the evidence of my youth has preserved the very essence of my most awkward phases and with it I'm able to look a part of myself straight in the eye. These papers were the true result of me moving on and leaving my
nonsense behind for someone else to deal with. Now they are my problem.
But these relics of my past are less of a problem and more of a gift. They reminded me of who I was, what was once important to me and how I processed information. They will help me relate more to my sons who are spazzes in their own way. I will recognize it and have more compassion as they work it out.
I'm sure the world will be ready for my two little spazzes....but just in case, get those news helicopters ready.