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Self Control

Brandeis offers rewards to students each month who exemplify a certain characteristic. One month it might be “generosity”, another it might be “conscientiousness.” I’m nominating Simon for the “self control” award. Actually, I’m unilaterally awarding it to him, and I defy anyone to challenge me.

This is a kid who has been corrected at school twice in over two years: Once for not raising his hand when he needed help, and once for sending a ball over a fence at recess. That’s it. There is no talking in the halls, no loudness at lunch, no not finishing work, nothing else at all ever. In fact, I have suggested to him more than once that he might want to take a break from perfect behavior, let loose a little, and realize that the world doesn’t end if he gets a rare and gentle reprimand. It’s like talking to a wall.

To give you an example of his preternatural self control, I offer two examples from the past two days:

1. Tuesday the counselor came to visit his class. At the end of her presentation, she handed out Laffy Taffy to everyone. Simon declined (I hope politely) his piece because, “I know I can’t have anything sticky because of my sealants.” While it is true that his dentist told him to avoid sticky foods to keep his sealants in place, it is also true that most kids his age would have taken the candy and hoped for the best.

I know I would have! In fact, I was over 30 when I pulled a crown out of my mouth by chewing a coffee nip, which must be the stickiest candy ever invented. We will not discuss how much Laffy Taffy I have consumed in my day; let’s just say it does not cast me in a favorable light, and I have sealants to protect, too!

2. Also Tuesday, Simon did half of his homework, took a break for dinner, and came down with a terrible stomach ache before he finished eating. Two hours later, he went to bed still hurting and with unfinished homework on the dining room table. I told him not to worry about it and assured him that I’d either explain what happened to his teacher or he could complete the assignment in the morning if he felt better and had time.

At 7:00 a.m. this morning, Simon woke up, went downstairs on his own, sat at the dining room table, and got back to work. He had a get out of jail free card on the homework front and, as with the taffy, he didn’t take it.

The school award for self control won’t be given out until next winter spring. The winner in our house, however, has already been declared, and he won it by a wide margin.


2 Responses to “Self Control”

  1. goldsteinrita says:

    Sometimes I wonder if he is for real!

  2. blg says:

    Totally an amazing child. Raised by smart, conscientious parents. I am so sorry I missed the chance to meet Simon.

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