Whatever you do… don’t get sick!

My son is 15… a sophomore in high school. He works hard. He is also a procrastinator at times, but aren’t we all a little bit.

He went away for an amazing trip to Disney with his high school band. He had the time of his life! He returned on Monday evening, late. Jumped right back into school for 7:15 Tuesday morning. He was exhausted. Completely wiped out… but he said “I can’t possibly miss a day.”

He got home Tuesday with an enormous pile of work as they had missed school on Monday. He stayed up until after 10 doing homework so he could get ‘caught up’. Wednesday was much of the same.

Thursday morning he woke up and looked awful. I tried to convince him to stay home. Rest. You are going to get sick. The response, “I can’t. I have too much to do. I have a lab and a test today. I need to go in.”

At 11:45, I sat in the high school parking lot because he couldn’t get through the day. Returned home with a fever of 101. BAM! Fast forward through the evening to which he continued to insist that he was going to go to school on Friday. I sat across for him and forcefully said, “No, I will send an email. I will call in. I will do whatever it takes. You are not going to school tomorrow.” He finally relented.

Saturday morning… we were at the walk in. The diagnosis: Flu B

The first thing out of his mouth was, “I need to get some of my work done. I can’t get this far behind.” I pulled my momma bear once again and said, “No, you will not.”

It is now Sunday afternoon… and he is sitting at the kitchen table attempting to do some work. His fever finally broke this morning. I have him on a timer so that he does not work for more than one hour without resting.

So here’s my question…

What on Earth are we doing to our children?

I am an educator. I get it. I have curriculum to teach. I have work that needs to get done. But when my son won’t even let himself recover from the flu… what are we doing?!

I know that this is systematic. I know that this is all over the country.

But why? Do you really think writing a chapter outline is teaching my son anything? If anything, he is learning that he needs to work through illness. He is not to rest and take care of his body when he is sick. Is that really what we want our kids to learn?  Don’t get me wrong… three teachers emailed me back and said, “Do not worry, we will get him caught up when he returns.” But the fear he has comes from somewhere.

I get work ethic. He has it!

I get wanting kids to be accountable. He emailed every one of his teachers to tell them he was sick. And he insisted I email to. And he asked the doctor for the note. And he just asked me (for the 10th time today!) if I emailed it yet.

I suppose my greatest struggle is that this flies in the face of what we, as educators, should be doing. We should be teaching the whole child. Ensuring the education of our children’s mind, body, and spirit.

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