This I Believe

Sharla - Olathe, Kansas
Entered on September 26, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

An Open Mind is the Ideal Craftsman

As I sit at my son’s middle school, waiting to speak to the administration regarding yet another injustice, I repeat the now familiar mantra that has guided me through the last two years, “I believe in my son.”

Perhaps I should begin by stating my son is not on the Honor Roll. I doubt I’ll have the chance to drive a family vehicle with a bumper sticker proclaiming my son’s academic excellence. He’s not a soccer player or an avid reader and he certainly doesn’t attack Algebra problems with gleeful abandon. In fact, he’s considered a “problem child” just as I am considered a “problem parent.” So what has he done to warrant such deep-rooted belief?

In all frankness, there’s no one thing that has earned such devotion, rather a plethora of small actions. He’s intelligent and honest. He’s mature enough to laugh at himself. He’s exuberant and cares about others; loyal to his friends and courteous to strangers. He holds the door at restaurants and offers to help carry groceries for the elderly. He’s forgiving, saves his money and will chase a stray for blocks just to ensure its safety and the chance at returning it home (much to the chagrin of my furniture). Most of all, he’s courageous enough to fight for his rights, both at home and in the academic environment, no matter how insurmountable the odds appear.

Today more than ever, I feel the support a parent provides their child is incalculable in value. By opening a child’s mind to the ideal, we allow them to look past the dogma’s miring society today. Who knows what a young mind is capable of if allowed to dream, to experience, and to break some societal norms which can hinder more than help. By believing in my son, in his ability to challenge the status quo, I’m empowering him to believe in the future. My belief allows him to slough off the labels so many are trying to bind him with.

Ultimately, I’m not raising an anarchist or an Einstein, although the potential for both is present. I’m raising a modern day teen with modern day concerns. Hopefully, I’m raising a person able to overcome the pervading apathy of modern morals. Certainly I’m raising a teen confident enough in his parent’s support to stand his ground if necessary, be loyal to his friends when needed, and respectful to his peers when earned. I believe in my son, and my belief will allow him the freedom to construct his own beliefs.