We stand staring at the rainbow of two litre ice cream containers stacked behind the Pak’n Save freezer door. “Can we choose Dad?” Jesse asks with his eyes already drawn to the prize. “Okay boys, you choose” I agree. Jesse wants Chocolate Fudge Sundae, Jett wants Boysenberry Ripple, they know they need to agree. It’s a fierce debate and while they typically work their way into agreement this time it’s a duel of desire, a battle of the dancing taste buds. One puts forward their case to the other hoping to sway the decision but each retorts with an equally compelling argument, neither prepared to concede this time around… there’s nowhere to go, it’s a stalemate. Time for Dad to enter the fray and force a decision… “Okay Jesse heads or tails?” I say reaching into my parental bag of problem resolution, “Heads” Jesse replies, one eye fixed on the Chocolate Fudge Sundae. Meanwhile Jett’s focus is burning a hole in my phone which is displaying a basic coin flip app taking the place of what in the olden days we called ‘cash’. Time to settle this battle of wills… I always enjoy having the boys for extended periods during the holidays and it’s been really cool this week spending quality time with them after having been overseas for a few weeks. The day after returning Linda and I had a meeting with the principle of Jesse’s school and his two teachers in an extended and elevated parent/teacher meeting. Linda and I had expressed concerns as to the learning environment and teacher capability while the teachers had concerns about Jesse’s performance at spelling. To be honest I’m pretty relaxed about academic assessment and am more focused and concerned with providing an environment that facilitates the development of inner passions and talents and effectively nourishes their sense of Self. Having said that I found myself this week slipping intermittently into questioning whether he was where he needed to be academically as I issued forth the odd pop quiz of “hey Jesse how do you spell….” or “hey Jesse we’ve got 5 bread rolls how do we divide those evenly between the three of us…” I didn’t like these thoughts of judgement, my preference is simply for Jesse to give his best and to have the room to unfold his own brilliance. The last thing I want to see is his fire of potential being smothered by parent or teacher in what amounts to the judgement of ‘not being good enough’ for that is the plague which has crippled humanity. I flip the coin…so to speak… It’s heads, Jesse wins…his eye’s light up as if he’s won first division and Jett’s shoulders sink forward as he lets go of boysenberry dreams.
Jesse proudly opens the freezer door but pauses, never looks back just hesitates. He looks at the Chocolate Fudge Sundae but then reaches up to the top shelf taking the Boysenberry Ripple and putting it in the trolley.“Say what” Jett says confused. Jesse just gives him a cheeky smile and we carry on, my heart exploding with pride. How do you spell Priorities? P.R.I… ]]>