“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.” ― Stephen King
WARNING! I’m taking a moment to brag! Jaz asked me not to brag on Facebook, so I’m following his wishes…kinda. I’m not technically on Facebook writing this.
Jaz gave his presentation to his classmates and advisors in school. And he ROCKED IT!
His school, TAGOS Leadership Academy is a charter school that runs a little different. While they do take courses on Math, English, and Science, most of their school day is dedicated to researching projects on the subject of their choosing. At the end of the semester, they present their project.
Jaz’s most recent project was on the study of Neurosciences. Did I mention that he’s twelve? For his project, he read a college textbook and performed a science experiment on the Gate Theory. Over the past six weeks, he came home everyday with a new tidbit of information with every word gleaming with excitement.
At the end of the week, the entire school comes together for a Town Meeting. During the Town Meeting yesterday, Jaz received a special call out for the amazing job he did on his project.
I am one proud Mama. Not that he was studying Neurosciences, though that, in itself, is damn impressive. But rather that he took the initiative to learn something difficult. He’s taking the initiative to learn at all. No matter how drab life may seem at one time, taking initiative to learn something always provides a way out, or a ray of light, if you will. Even when I felt stuck, burying myself in something new gave me hope that dark clouds will lift. He’s learning that important skill and has found excitement in it again.
We sat in the car and I listened as he regaled me with comments from his peers. I did my best not to get choked up and when he was done, I asked him, “Do you remember this time last year?”
Last year. When I prayed every night that he wouldn’t vomit at the thought of going to school. When I fought with the school to give him more challenging work. When his grades were okay, but not up to his potential because he was just squeeking by.
Last year when we were unhappy.
The atmosphere in the car calmed and I took a moment before sharing a life lesson with my son.
“Don’t settle for mediocre. Aim higher. Because better is always out there.”
Living in a box, crammed with your knees pressed against your nose, is no life for anyone. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how you shift or rearrange to try to make it fit, the box is too small and it’s time to break through the walls and stand tall.
We did that. Jaz and I. We’re stretching. Because it’s a big world out there.
Did I mention how amazed I am by my son? I can’t wait to see what he puts together next.