Thursday, April 17, 2008

Terrific Kids

Our school district has a program sponsored by the Kiwanis Club to recognize students by something they call Terrific Kid. Each student is chosen and given a certificate, a pencil, a bumper sticker, a few small gift certificates, and whatever the school has on hand to put in an envelope. In the early grades (K-1), every student is recognized. It is now week 29 (out of 36) and Deniska was recognized by his teacher as being a Terrific Kid. So, trying to be a good mama, I bragged on Deniska, hugged, kissed him,etc... and told him how proud we were of this accomplishment. After awhile, we moved on to other topics and no more was mentioned of this award.

When we got home, we went to the garden to pull up the dead plants. When we finished, we were headed back to the house when I felt a rock whiz by my head and land a foot or 2 away from me. (It was a fairly large rock as well!!) Deniska was in front of me and I knew the rock throwing culprit was Nikolai. I asked Nikolai why he threw the rock at me (which he denied purposefully throwing at me) when he had a huge yard to throw things. We talked about throwing things and I sent him to bed. After a short time, I got him up from bed and we continued our conversation on why he threw a rock at me. I still did not get anywhere with him on this discussion.

When his daddy got home, I mentioned the incident to Dennis. Dennis asked him why he threw the rock. He was not scolding him and asked in a curious voice tone. It was clear that at this time Nikolai was not in trouble. Nikolai would not answer his daddy at all. At this point, Dennis sent him to the bathroom until he could answer him. For the next little while, Nikolai wailed and cried. Bear in mind, that we were also working on trying to get him out of the house to Religious Education.

After a while, I went to talk to Nikolai about this incident. Quiet frankly, we were running out of time and he needed to eat dinner before leaving. Out conversation went something like this:

Mama: Nikolai, why did you throw the rock?
Nikolai: no answer
Mama: Did you throw the rock at Mama because you were mad at Mama?
Nikolai: No
Mama: Mad at Deniska?
Nikolai: No
Mama: Mad at Papa?
Nikolai: No
Mama: Were you pretending to throw a baseball? (They are playing baseball right now)
Nikolai: No
Mama: Did you just think it would be fun to do?
Nikolai: No

I'm running out of things to suggest when it suddenly occurred to me what the problem was.

Mama: Nikolai, are you upset because Deniska is a Terrific Kid and you did not get Terrific Kid.
Nikolai: (shook his head yes as tears run down his face)

At this point, I could have cried myself. Poor little thing. I scooped him up in my arms and told him that Mama and Papa knew he was a Terrific Kid and we didn't need a certificate to tell us that. I assured him that we loved him and was so glad that he lived with us. I also went on to explain that sometimes Deniska would get awards and recognition that he may not and the same would be true for him. I reminded him of how he hit the ball and ran bases last night in the ball game and Deniska struck out. Lots of hugging and kissing took place. He just melted into my arms and I could feel all that anger fall away from him. It was a touching moment. He asked me if I would tell Papa why he threw the rock but not in front of Deniska.

We still have our times with Nikola as every parent has with their children. I wouldn't take anything in the world for all those moments.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Susan, this story about Nikolai really touched my heart! You are absolutely right - BOTH your boys are "Terrific Kids" and certainly don't need a piece of paper from school to tell you so!

    ReplyDelete

St. Therese

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