This past weekend, I was lucky enough to find myself sitting in front of a Van Gogh at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While sitting, I was also talking on the phone to a certain teenager whom I happened to birth in 2003. This teenager was 3,000 miles away from me and the Van Gogh, and he had called to ask me whether he should retake the Bio test on which he had earned a 10/25. He wasn’t sure if he should.
“I’m not sure if I should,” he said.
I looked at Van Gogh’s self portrait. He didn’t look well. Probably teenagers had impacted his mental health. I rubbed my ear and gave my inner Helicopter Mother a mental shove to make room for my inner Mother of Perpetual Pseudo-Patience.
The latter gently said, Do NOT tell him what to do. If you are always telling him what to, he will never learn how and what to do without you telling him what and how to do it. And then you’ll wake up one day and you will realize he is forty-eight years old and still lives with you and still expects that you will make him hash browns and a banana smoothie for breakfast.
“OK,” I said into the phone, “what are the pros and cons of retaking the test?”
Helicopter Mother rolled her eyes and snorted.
“I mean, it’s nice,” I continued, “that Ms. C. is letting you do a retake. Tell me what you’re thinking about your options.”
“I’m not sure what I’m thinking,” he said.
I tugged on my ear some more. I needed a Monet or a Manet or something more soothing than Vincent Van Gogh’s self portrait staring at me. How about one of those Degas dancers? A flock of those Degas ballet ladies would help neutralize the Wild West boy brain on the end of the phone line. Maybe. [Read more…]