My personal mantra is onwards. I don’t think I have been dealt more to deal with than the average person, it’s just that life can be unpredictable at times. People can disappoint, plans can go awry, loss can find you when you least expect it. In these times, I have picked myself up, taken a deep breath, and told myself “onwards.”
Tonight Kid1 learned how perfect onwards can be. It’s report card time. Manilla envelopes full of trepidation and shivers of anticipation. His hands shook as he read his. His disappointment was enough. We didn’t need to berate, didn’t need to go line by line. It is a fine report card. He’s getting average marks but his teacher recognizes that he could do better. Daws was crushed by the comments and very shaken by his first C grade.
Our conversation was simple. We talked about what we can do differently, to get different results. We talked about focus and putting your heart into it. We talked about taking your time and trying your hardest. He came up with a couple of goals to work on for the next report card, we promised to help and promised to continue cheering him on.
Later as he was brushing his teeth, his gaze fell on the tattoo on my forearm. “Mom,” he said. “You really believe in onwards?”
“Yah buddy,” I said. “Onwards means never quitting.”
“I can get onwards with school then” he said.
I was glad of his need to gargle for the moment it gave me to collect myself. I remember wiping out in track in Grade 7, getting up to stumble across the finish line, telling myself “onwards.” I remember teen-aged mortification and having to face people and situations time and again feeling ill-equipped and idiotic – but always just getting on with it. I have had similar mortification and moments as an adult. I have always had onwards. Now he does too.