Today's topic: Something You Have to Forgive Yourself For
Please bear with me folks, this one is kind of a long story.
I am the oldest of three. I have two younger brothers. I am also the oldest of seven in my immediate family, with two younger brothers and four younger cousins whom I adore just as much as if they were my actual little sisters.
I was a weird child growing up. I hated dirt and being dirty, and I always wanted to learn new things. At the age of 4 (maybe 5) I BEGGED my parents to buy me Hooked-On-Phonics. I wanted to read. I was jealous that everyone around me could read except for me, and I wanted to read so bad that it hurt. I don't know how we afforded it, but my parents bought Hooked-On-Phonics for me. I didn't even have to finish all the lessons and I could read. I could sound out words, and I knew what sounds blends like ph and ch made. Once I knew how to read, I was a reading machine. And I have been ever since. I love to read. I love to read mysteries, I love to read love stories, I love to read children's books, I DON'T love to read textbooks (ha!).
Because I was such a weird kid and ALWAYS wanted to learn, I easily made perfect grades in high school. I was one of three Valedictorians in my graduating class. I had ONE imperfect score my last trimester, but I honestly didn't earn that grade, it was given to me by a teacher that didn't like all the class I was missing for baseball playoffs since I didn't play baseball. But I digress.
Being Valedictorian and having a good ACT score set me up to be able to go to any college I wanted to. I applied to probably 30 schools and got into every single one.
(I promise I'm getting to the point where it fits in with today's topic.)
Being the oldest of all the grandchildren, I set very high standards for my brothers and cousins to follow behind. Every single one of them is just as smart as I am, I have no doubt about that. Jacob I think is even smarter than I am, as he can work and understand math a whole hell of a lot better than I can. He even wants to be an accountant. I definitely couldn't do any of that, I'm too science-brained.
Upon Jared's graduation from high school, he began attending Northeastern State University here in Oklahoma. I didn't get to help him move in or anything like that because of sorority obligations just before school. I never helped him schedule classes that would be manageable, and a lot of stuff he had to do on his own. I don't think the family could have helped him with classes because everyone who has a Bachelor's completed the work while working full time with children.
Fall 2009, Jared barely made grades. See, Jared has attention-deficit disorder, and he honestly is super smart. He's just the type of person that if he is under-stimulated in a classroom environment, he checks out. Well, you can check out in high school and still make A's and B's. You can't do that in college.
Spring 2010, Jared's grades were bad again, so he got put on academic probation.
Fall 2010 was rough. Jared joined a fraternity, broke up with his girlfriend of 10 months, and started dating another girl. He also has an XBox that he spends a lot of time on. As you can imagine, his grades started slipping so he dropped a class to make his GPA manageable.
In October, he got hit by a car. He was walking down the street, and a car hit him. It was the scariest freaking thing in the world, and I was the first Next of Kin they got ahold of. I was about 2 hours (maybe 2.5) away from him in Tahlequah. Naturally, I started hysterically crying. I got a hold of my grandmother, and she, mom, and Jessica rushed to Tahlequah.
Because he was hit by a car, he missed about a week and a half of school. Some of the professors wouldn't let him make up his work, so his grades fell even more. Spring 2011 semester has started, and he isn't returning to school.
I tell you all this because in some way, I blame myself. I blame myself for setting the standards for the rest of the kids too high, I blame myself for not helping him, and I feel responsible for not asking him about his schoolwork and if he needed any help.
I know you are probably reading this and screaming at me through the computer IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT. And I know it's not. But I can't help the way I feel about the entire situation.
I'm working to improve it, but this is the big thing that I need to forgive myself for right now. I'm not sure how it will pan out, but everytime I look at him and see how much he aches to be back with his friends at school, it breaks my heart a little more every day.
Wow, tears with this post, and there will be tears with tomorrow's post too.
Thank you for taking the time to read.