Tag Archives: do your best

Just Do Your Best


We’ve always told out boys that they don’t have to be perfect but they should always do their best. They don’t have to bring home straight A’s as long as they are trying and putting in the effort. The same goes for sports.

The high school in our town does not have a hockey team. A group of parents have been working hard to start a team. This of course has thrilled Drew. For now, they have created a club team that combines three towns. The students are in grades 8-11 – which leads to quite a size range! Drew, although a 9th grader, is one of the smaller players. This doesn’t stop him though. He is not as skilled or as fast as some of the boys who have been playing for years, but he still gets out there and puts everything he has into it. They had their first game tonight and although he didn’t score, he got a few assists and at the end of the game, he was just…happy.

It is just like football. I don’t think I wrote about it on my blog, but last summer, he came to Dave and me and told us he wanted to play football. Of course, we said, no, reminding him of his two concussions. He also never played real football before. He persisted and pestered and finally, we decided to let him try out for the kicker. We never thought he’d make it, but we also knew it was one of the safer positions if he did. Drew, all 90 pounds of him, put every bit of effort into those summer practices. He went everyday, went over and beyond and when it came time to announce the team, he not only made the freshmen team, he made varsity! The coach made a point of telling him and his teammates that he earned it due to the effort he showed each day on the field.

Drew knew he was not the best on the team. He was by far the smallest – the program listed him as 5’3″ and 95 pounds – and that was being generous! He doesn’t care. He put so much heart into those games. He didn’t get into every game, the team had a pretty bad year and so there weren’t a lot of opportunities, but he was still there at every practice and on the sidelines, cheering on the rest of the team whether or not he got in or not.

He has never been a strong student academically, and having sports to keep him motivated has been huge for him. He’s not going to college on an athletic scholarship – we all know that – but he’s having fun and when Drew is happy, everyone is happy.



today is your day

Today, my son turned 17!  I have to say it out loud to really make it seem real!  In New Jersey, you can get your driver’s license at 17 so this morning, he went out with his driving instructor before I even left for work.  He was really nervous.  DJ doesn’t show a lot of emotion but I could tell it was really getting to him.  He has had his driving permit for quite some time, but the winter was so rough, and time and sports schedules were so busy, there wasn’t as much time as we had all hoped for to get much practice in lately.  His biggest fear was the parallel parking.  He was so down on himself about not being able to do it.

Drew left a message taped to his phone this morning.  His “Tips for Passing the Driving Test.”

  • 9 and 3 (hand position)
  • Eyes on the road
  • seatbelt
  • signals
  • turn off phone
  • check mirrors

When he found it this morning, I saw him fold it up and put it into his pocket.  Maybe it was his lucky charm?!?

I waited all morning to hear something.  I kept my phone in my back pocket waiting to feel it vibrate hoping to get a message from him either way, pass or fail.  I just wanted to know.  I kept checking to see if I missed a message but I hadn’t.  During my break, I sent a message to Dave to see if he had heard anything but he hadn’t either.  FINALLY, I saw on my phone that I had a missed call.  Of course, the one time I left it on my desk to do a few things, he had tried to reach me!  My students were still not with me so I had a minute to call him back.

In his usual, non-expressive tone, he said, “I passed.”  I had to make him repeat it… “I passed,” he said, a bit more excited this time.  I told him how happy I was for him and that we’d all celebrate tonight!  He drove himself over to Drew’s school at the end of the day to pick him up.  Drew said it felt “kinda cool” to have his big brother show up at school.

I just got home and saw his license.  My little boy – all grown up.  It actually is, “kinda cool.”  Scary…but cool.


do your best

In the beginning of May, I wrote about getting both of my boys classified in school.  I was kicking myself for waiting so long, thinking how much time I must have wasted where they could have been getting the help that they needed.  Dave and I weren’t sure if we had made the right decision, but the teachers at their schools made it easy for us and we are grateful.  Both boys have now finished their first semester at school, DJ in grade 11 and Drew in grade 6.  High School and Middle School – rough years in general.

Drew, my son who enjoyed school, but loathed academics made the honor roll!  FIVE A’s and two B’s.  We haven’t received the actual report card, but with the technology available to us, we are able to go on line and check his grades whenever we want.  I am not a parent who checks on them daily.  I go on once every week or two, to see if the boys are doing their homework and getting assignments completed on time.  Drew is so proud of himself.   He cannot wait to get the report card in the mail and show it to his fifth grade teachers.  He told me how proud they are going to be of him.   Seeing him this excited about his grades and school is something that Dave and I have never seen him exhibit before.   He comes in and does his homework right after school.  I would not say that there is no mumbling and grumbling about it, just so much less.  I also have to credit his 6th grade teachers at the middle school.   Whatever they are doing to keep him motivated, is working!

As for DJ, he didn’t make honor roll, but he has also had the best report card we have seen from him in years!  4 A’s 2 B’s and a C.   He doesn’t talk much about school, he never has.  We try to get information out of him but rarely get more than a word or two in response.  His favorite class though is a television production class.  He likes it so much, he’s going to school tonight, (something he’d have never done a year ago,) to help film a program going on at the school this evening.

We have never pushed for our boys to bring home straight A’s. That would be unrealistic.  What we do tell them is to do their best and if they are giving it all of their effort, that is what is most important.  I am not sure what it is that is motivating the boys, the teachers, getting them classified, or something else, but Dave and I are proud of them.