Let me start by saying that even though I pretty much hate science, I also know how important it is. Electricity, light bulbs, penicillin, medicine, gasoline, airplanes, television, all conveniences we have thanks to science, all because scientists came up with and tested numerous theories until they discovered something new. It’s amazing when you really think about it. 5th grade science projects though, as great as they can be, they aren’t really in the same realm.
Back in December, Tristan pulled out that frightful science fair packet…De-cem-ber, at first glance, I was like, I’ve got this, then the holidays distracted me. I just kept thinking, we’ve got plenty of time, we’ll start soon. Lucky for me, Tristan’s teacher had little portions due every week, partially to keep kids focused and I’m sure to prevent kids from frantically putting the project together the night before it was due. The down side, is that even though he had small deadlines we didn’t get much feedback, if any, on them. Tristan was cool, calm and collected through the whole process…me ummmm yeah I need feedback, I need to hear I’m on the right track and doing it right. I need to hear I’m doing a job job…pretty sure any therapists reading are analyzing my childhood right now. But as I started to write his teacher an email asking for feedback I remembered that it wasn’t my science fair project, it wasn’t my grade and if Tristan was proud of it that was good enough for me…at least that’s what I convinced myself for a minute or two.
Fast forward to the week the project is due…I had bought the poster board and the paper towels (absorption and which paper towel is most absorbent”), but we hadn’t even started the experiment! Again we got the packet in December and I was now officially stressed out. Monday and Wednesdays are booked with practice (yes school is more important, but he’s on a spring competitive team and really needs to be at practice), so we had to bust out the experiment and typing on Tuesday and finish the board Thursday….breath, breath, we can do this, I kept having to tell myself. But as hard as I tried I was stressed and when I’m stressed and rushed, I quickly lose my patience and tend to raise my voice more than I should. Did you see this picture I posted on Instagram….
it was just wanted I needed after a long night of homework/catch up work for Dylan and science fair project for Tristan. Jim knew I was exhausted, he knew I was out of patience and stepped in to help analyze the data. He’s a research, computer, data and numbers kind of guy. As much as I didn’t really enjoy the process leading up to experiment, it was so fun to see Tristan and Dylan excited about completing the experiment. I’m pretty sure the experiment is the only part of the scientific method that I actually like…research, hypothesis, data…yeah no thanks I’ll skip to the good stuff.
And the kicker, the stab to my exhausted, frustrated heart…Tristan hugged me and said, “Thank you for helping me with my project mom. I had so much fun and couldn’t have done it without you”. Yep just like that, I felt like the worst parent ever. But isn’t that what being a parent is all about? Doing things we don’t necessarily enjoy, in order to see the joy on our kids’ faces? So while I’m pretty sure I’ll never actually love science, I know that for the 3 younger boys I will be right by their side pushing them along. Jim and I agreed that for the rest of the kids, he’ll help with research and data and I’ll stick to making the poster pretty. I know that it isn’t really at important, but I gotta play up my strengths. And not that it was that important but we got an A! I mean Tristan got an A, and I got a huge hug and a thank you!
What projects have just about killed you? I just keep thinking that I have 3 more of these to get through….crap!