Saturday, 10 May 2014

When is too much too much?

Recently my son (M1) transitioned from a small primary school to a large all boys school.  He is in grade 5 and is loving it.  Mostly.

Academically and sports-wise he is being challenged, and this is great for him.  It is one of the main reasons we changed schools.  He needed more boys to test himself against - in all aspects of his education.  He is certainly getting that.  He has made some new friends, mates, some of which will hopefully develop into lifelong friendships.  Hes made sports teams and is in the band.  All great stuff.

Overall he has settled in very well.

Trouble is, there is a price.  Commitment is hard and it takes a toll.  He is tired.  Exhausted.  To the point he has been crying those horrible exhausted tears because he doesn't know how he is feeling.

And of course there is homework, sports practice and band and trumpet practice. And homework.  Did I mention that already, the homework?


I was cradling him in my arms the other night while he cried. Not tears streaming down his face but those tired sobs where your bones are just seemingly aching from the weight of it.

We talked about his commitments, and how he could give something up if he wanted to.  The thing is he actually wants to do more.  He bounced out of bed the next morning saying it was basketball try outs.  And he couldn't wait.


How do you explain to a 10 year old boy about bone tired and exhaustion?  This  is likely to be his normal now for the next, oh 15 years.  Isn't it?  Is it?  How do you explain about balance and exercise and life and how he can stop and do less when he sees you trying to do it all.  All the time.

I soothe myself with the answer he gave to this question the other day.

Me:  "What do you like most about your new school?"
M1: "That there is other smart kids that are like me.  And the sports.  Getting to play sport for the school".  

This, was music to my ears.  Finally he has other kids to be smart with, play sports with, play music with, without being labeled.  The reason we changed schools.  At least we got that right.

So, now to figure out the balance.  How much is too much?