Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Son...The Treasurer? - by Cara Potapshyn Meyers

My son is a natural born leader. I don’t say this just to puff myself up. In fact, I envy his innate abilities. I’ve witnessed his talents since he was a toddler. The kid just has what it takes. You can spot it a mile away.
His elementary school decided to form a Student Government. Two children from the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades were chosen to form the committee. I asked my son’s teacher how it came to be that my son was chosen. She said that first each 3rd grade class had to nominate one person. Then the individual class nominees were up for democratic voting by all of their 3rd grade peers. My son won! What an incredible honor! I can’t even think of two kids I was even close to when I was in 3rd grade!
It didn’t surprise me that my son was chosen. The kid can make friends with a tree. What did surprise me was that my son has learning disorders and the school administration is still allowing my son to participate. I give the school kudos. Especially since it took two agonizing years to get special services for my son.
My son is beyond elated! He was dressed and ready to go to his first meeting last week an hour ahead of schedule. He nagged us to go to the school before it was even open! He glowed when he told us how his first meeting went. A plethora of creative ideas for various goals were spewing out of my son’s mouth so fast, I thought he would pass out from not taking a breath! Now the Student Government must decide on a President, Secretary and Treasurer. Only fifth graders are allowed to run for President; fourth graders for Secretary and third graders for Treasurer. Guess who wants to run for Treasurer?
My son has no problems with math or money comprehension. Thankfully, math is one area he excels at. My only fear for him is that he has to write a speech to present to his peers explaining why he should be chosen as Treasurer. A speech. Something you have to write. An area where all of his deficits lie.
We engaged his tutor to help him with his speech. It is basic. Not terribly convincing. However, I can visualize my son making this rather dry speech into something completely engaging. He has that “gift.”
I, the “Free Range Mom” who practically throws my son out of the nest, shouting, “Go for it!” am a little apprehensive for my son. He is getting better at dealing with failure. Yet, he is so convinced that he will be chosen as Treasurer, that if he is not chosen, I will be wondering whether it was because of his learning deficits. I would never relay these fears of mine to him. But I will be thinking of it. A lot.
I should, and am so grateful that my son was nominated and chosen to represent his class. He has myriad ideas about fundraising, raising money for charities, inspiring more “school spirit,” etc. He will be a perfect asset to the Student Government regardless whether he wins as Treasurer or not. Still, that nagging doubt will remain in the back of my head if he does not get chosen.
I want my son to win as Treasurer. I want him to win because I know he can carry out his responsibilities and be a highly enthusiastic part of the team. I want him to win because even though his writing and reading are sub-par, he can still show the world that he can accomplish what he sets his mind to regardless of his deficits. I want the school to see that regardless of “disabilities,” there are many ways a child can prove their value and worthiness. I want him to continue to nurture his amazing, innate characteristics! They have gotten him quite far in his short life. I want them to take him to the moon and back. And just possibly, to the Presidency!
I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed. Toes too! You go, kid!!

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