500 Words, Physical Science, & Brain Mush

Shadows & Light


You wouldn’t think five hundred words a day would be difficult. You might be wrong. I have missed a few days during the 500 Words a day challenge. As much I would like to challenge myself each day to sit and write five hundred words, some days it just is not going to happen.

I can not choose to sit and write for thirty minutes to an hour when my son needs me to study with him. And let me tell you, after I have quizzed him for half an hour on physical science all my brain wants to do is shut down. At least helping him study for history is interesting, but physical science turns my brain to absolute mush even if I do find it somewhat interesting. My brain waves do not flow as easily where science is concerned. My mind is so tired when I finish helping him all I want to do is sleep. But he needs this time and he has finally realized he needs it. He is seeing the results of studying a little every night.

You see, with him, the realizing it for himself has always been the key.

He is….how shall I phrase this….strong minded. Even as a baby he had a will of his own, but once he realized something was better or needed he was good. I have fought a lot of battles in this thing called parenthood. Oh I know people say choose your battles. Believe me. I do. For instance, he refuses to wear a jacket unless he will be outside for very long and prefers to wear short sleeves all year round. I really do not think he gets that cold. So I do not argue with him when he gets out of the van with no jacket on a forty degree day. When he gets cold enough he is smart enough to put on a jacket. I think it is more about not wanting to keep up with a jacket at school than not wanting to wear one. He does have a tendency to put things down and forget about them. But last week when we awoke to temperatures in the single digits and teens I fought the battle. He wore a jacket to school.

I have also finally realized we have more adjusting and catching up on study skills and forming the habit before he can study on his own as I always assumed he would at this age. Perhaps I am beginning to rest in this instead of resisting it.

He climbs in the van this afternoon and just as I do every afternoon I ask him how his day was. “Awful,” he replies.

Three semesters in at his new school and this is only the second time he has replied with “awful” instead of “good.”

“What happened?” I ask.

“We have so much homework,” he complains. I stifle a little giggle knowing this is a good thing. Even with study hall he was not able to get all his homework done.

He leans the seat back on the commute home to catch a thirty minute nap. We arrive home and I tell him he can take a short break before he gets started on his homework and studying.

“No. I’ll just go ahead and get it done.”

I tried not to fall out on the floor in a mixture of shock and happiness and pride.

I check on his progress and tell him how proud I am of his neat handwriting. Between his hurry and being an artist, his penmanship is not always the easiest to read.

He finishes his assignments and we sit down to study. I make him open his science book so he can search for the answers as I quiz him.

An hour and a half later we finish and I have had a nice refresher course on Native Americans, the Homesteading Act, static electricity and batteries.

If anyone needs me you can find my brain in a pile of mush. Who knew physical science would be so much harder twenty-four years later.

And as I type past seven words maybe five hundred words a day aren’t so difficult after all…..well….maybe.

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