A week in the life of Patrick

14 02 2015

Molly and I often tell with each other that all we want is Patrick to learn how to use his powers for good and not evil.

Excited Patrick

On the positive side: Once Patrick is motivated to do something it’s almost impossible to stop him. Recently, his motivation has been about biking (which obviously warms my heart). He really wants to ride his own bike to school, so last weekend we did a practice run to figure out: 1) Is it even possible (he’s only been riding for a few weeks) and 2) how long it will take. He’s a new enough biker that he can’t ride the quarter-mile downhill from our house to the bike trail — he can’t keep his speed under control. No problem! He happily walked his bike. Then, at the end of the flat bike ride along the Burke Gilman trail (where he did very well, by the way), he faced The Hill. It’s a short, steep uphill to his school, and Patrick really wanted to be able to ride the whole way. (After all, his brother can!)

Well, of course a 6-year-old who’s only been biking for a few weeks and who’s riding a bike that weighs half as much as he does can’t ride all the way up that steep hill. Patrick made it about a third of the way up, though, before he couldn’t go any further. He panted a little, looked at me, and then said, “I want to try again.” And he did: He walked his bike back down, turned around, and tried again. He got a little further in his fight with gravity, but gravity won. “I want to try again.” A little bit further the third time. 

The three attempts exhausted him. There was no 4th attempt, and his poor legs barely had enough gas to get him home after that. But I have to admit I’m really proud of his attitude and his effort. He’ll eventually conquer that hill.

On the other hand, we got contacted by the Lower School Director (think “School Principal”) yesterday. Patrick apparently got into a small wrestling match with a Kindergarten student at recess, and he’s going to be spending his recess with the principal one day next week as a consequence.

As I said: We need to teach him to use his powers for good, not evil.

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2 responses

3 03 2015
tyra

This post charms me because i can hear your voice saying this phrase, and because it’s been literally EXACTLY what we tell my clever, kind-hearted, too-smart, charismatic, manipulative 7-yo stepson for at least the past 3 years. Maybe more like 5. I will often catch him messing with his sister and stop the meddling by just asking: “are you using your powers for good?” It’s a gem, this little correlation. A friend 2 nights ago was over talking about William and Mary, and i was sharing my dimly remembered impressions and geographies. “Wow, you must have spent some time there,” she remarked, but i didn’t, by any normal reckoning. One weekend to visit you and one to visit my friend Caitlin, a year or 2 apart, & that’s all forever. But i was a sponge those weekends; it was an impression-making place and i was impressionable, apparently. My point is something i’ve lost the words for while thumb-typing awkwardly on my phone, but it has something to do with the loose-yarn sewing on my toddler’s nursery-school’s burlap-covered activity table; threads weaving in and out of time, invisible subteranean continuities that you only see when they’re pushed through again, who-knows-how-far from the point of their last surfacing. Patrick! Caleb! Use your powers for good!

3 03 2015
tyra

(Also: nerd problems. I can read but not edit that comment, and the semicolon where i thought i’d hit the colon button will now drive me crazy all afternoon.)

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