ON TOP OF THE WORLD
Here's Michael photographing Yosemite (as it turns out, he also turns out to be a talented photographer!).
And I'm also on top of the world because I just got my son's first report card: one A+, two As, one A-, and a B. Not bad at all, eh? He's been in sixth grade not even 3 months and before that was (artificially) categorized as 4th grade. Not bad at all! And, here's one of his stellar photos (check out the waterfall as it was the vaunted waterfall season in Yosemite while we visited):
Some of you are asking about my parenting strategies for "someone of his background." I don't want to claim I have a fixed strategy or that I even know what I'm doing. But the one thing about which I and the hubby have been hyper-aware for years is how human history shows how the difference between those in power and those who get abused is often the difference between being well-educated and not. And from a conversation I had with the kid last week, I told him, "You have a choice. You can aim to better yourself or you can make excuses for yourself because of where you come from."
My son knows exactly what I'm saying. Though, as a 13-year-old, he often lapses to age-typical behavior (like his adolescent sense of humor which leaves him clutching his belly in laughter while I just scratch moi head failing to see what's funny), he is also prematurely adult on many levels (I found out more details about his horrific past just today as family history is often incomplete for many orphans). Suffering resonates.
My son knows too much about too many wrong things. This means he shows strong empathy for the impoverished and the dispossessed. But it also means, he knows he needs to be the one to save himself. And as a parent, the last thing I want to do is contradict that wisdom.