Boy #3 is headed back to the Math Tournament this coming March! He’s very excited to go. He participated in the mental math category, where you write your answers in pencil and get no scratch paper to figure things out. He won second place and got a trophy last time. He’s hoping for first place this year. He loves math and works hard at it, but it also comes easy to him.

Girl will probably also be on the team next year. She was always smarter in math than all of her brothers. It all just comes so easy to her. She’s always scored well on the standardized testing too, right from the beginning. Boy #3 didn’t show that same level of promise so early, but right around second grade he started getting better at it. Either way, he’s setting himself up really well. He has so many doors open already for him. I wish the older two had been as focused as early as he has been. He feels the pressure from inside too, it’s nothing that we have done to pressure him to work so hard. And so I think that makes it feel enjoyable to him. Why else would someone spend tons of time practicing math and give up an entire Saturday to do math problems?

I think having Boy #1 struggle so much with all of his stuff like ADHD, Autism, Tourette’s, OCD, Anxiety, and seizures made me realize that sometimes it’s not easy to see your child struggle while everyone around them does so well. When everyone else was sharing their child’s successes and where the kid was going to college, I had nothing to say. We were just happy he actually graduated on time. He has made everything challenging in a way that made no sense.

Boy #2 also has ADHD and is on the spectrum. No seizures and no serious anxiety. He also has a photographic memory and a genius level IQ according to the testing we did to find the ADHD and autism. But he failed to apply himself for so long. It’s never been hard for him at all, it’s just getting everything done and actually turning it in that was working against him. If he didn’t feel like doing it, he did not do it. And finally, something clicked in his head this year and he is getting everything done on time and has straight As. What a marvelous break through! But still, this was extremely frustrating. You have this genius who doesn’t even care about where he could get by putting in a minimal amount of effort for him.

So the younger two were like a breath of fresh air. The schools they’ve attended never called for behavior issues or missing assignments. They only get compliments during conferences and every teacher talks about how respectful and kind they are. And usually how helpful they are too. Life is way nicer on THIS side of the school world. I usually got a phone call a month about Boy #1 and emails weekly, and some years were worse than others. Younger grades where the teacher noted colors in his agenda were always one of the bottom two-orange or red. None of the other three kids ever got red, they rarely got orange, and mostly had green or blue. But Boy #1…always a challenge. He’s so close to figuring it out though, I am hopeful that this is his year. This is when he will finally see the light and get his life together!

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