So the Boy is sitting watching television the other evening in a classic young-adolescent-boy pose; scrunched down with his bare legs thrown over the side of the armchair.
I don't recall what the hell he was watching (which reminds me that I need to really do a Kid Vid update with the latest kiddo faves) but it was probably something loud and irritating like Spongebob or the even-more-loathsome "Uncle Grandpa".
Anyway, I'm over working at the laptop about five feet away, so when he talks I can just barely hear him over the ruckus of the damn boob-tube, but he says almost to himself:
"A 15 millimeter sniper rifle is the intercessional tool of my life."
Yeah, I had to look it up, too;
in·ter·ces·sion [in-ter-sesh-uhn] noun
1. an act or instance of interceding.
2. an interposing or pleading on behalf of another person.
3. a prayer to God on behalf of another.
4. (Roman History) the interposing of a veto, as by a tribune.
I'm not sure what the Boy meant and I'm not really sure I want to know, either.
Meanwhile, Fifth Grade is becoming something of a struggle.
The Boy has always been a sort of slap-dash kind of kid. He'd rather do something, anything, really, half-assed and quickly rather than spend any sort of time on it and do it well. He's managed to slide through the first four grades on pure smarts, - because he IS a smart kid - and charm, the goodwill of his teachers. And because the first five grades in Portland Public Schools don't get A-F marks for their work.
But in Sixth Grade all that nonsense stops. And this year he's got a teacher that has been pounding on his tendency to turn work in late, or not at all, and half-ass his way through what he does turn in because she's telling him that next year he's going to get pasted with F's for that.
The Bride and I are trying to hammer it into his hard little head - because he's ALSO a hardheaded little bastard - that, in the immortal words of Dean Wormer, "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son..." And that he will soon find out that you tend to get out in grades what you put into your schoolwork in intelligent effort.
Right now, things aren't looking good. He's fighting this hard. He doesn't WANT to work, and for some reason seems to believe that some kid magic will see him safely through.
I hate seeing this, because this was me forty years ago. I took damn near a quarter-century to get my shit together and on the way took some damn hard hits, some of which are still with me, limiting my options and choices to this very moment.
I don't want to see my own son repeat my mistakes - real intelligence is learning from the mistakes of others - but I have yet to figure out how to convince him of this, and I'm not sure he will be convinced short of some teacher's intercessional tool putting one right in his ten-ring.