Thursday, April 23, 2009

Life Lesson: Procrastination

Tomorrow we have our end-of-semester "Demo Day," which showcases the work that students did during our co-op. Some classes give presentations, others display projects the kids have created, and still others share food they've made.

One of S's favorite classes is "Kids in Business," and it's been great fun for her. The students created their business ideas, learned about marketing and target audiences, and developed advertising (infomercials) and flyers. Tomorrow they'll each have a booth to sell their wares.

S has been really excited about this culmination of creativity. She and one of her best friends have been brainstorming and scheming to make all sorts of projects. They're planning on making a big splash tomorrow.

The unfortunate thing is that, while all the brainstorming has been going on and her friends have been creating, S has been procrastinating. When I give her gentle reminders about deadlines or ask her when she's planning on working in some quality production time, she gets huffy and blows me off. 

I've been biting my lip, steeling myself for the perfect storm I see on the horizon.

Tonight it hit.

We arrive home at 9:30, after her last performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and she realizes that the departure time for Demo Day looms less than twelve hours away.

She has two other girls in her "business" who are depending on her, and she doesn't want to let them down. But now she realizes that there's pretty much no way to avoid that.

As a mom, I want to step in and make it all better. But once again, I have to value the process of failure. I'm a big believer in failure (something you'll see me write about a lot on this blog, I expect), because I've seen that success only follows on the heels of failure - sometimes quite spectacular.

S scrambled around, writing lists of what needed to happen in the next eleven and a half hours, and figuring out ways to maximize her efficiency, produce as much product as possible, and not look like a total deadbeat in the end.

While I find it hard to stand back and watch my child struggle through, I also am grateful for (yet another!) learning opportunity. I'm glad we're going through this now when she's 11, rather than when she's 18 and it's something that will affect her for the rest of her life.

She'll figure it out. She always does. And when she pulls out a success of sorts without Mom's intervention and solutions, she can claim it for her own.


  1. I love the way you talk about mistakes as opportunities to learn. I can imagine how hard this must have been for you though.

  2. I've got to be honest, when I first started reading your blog I didn't know anything about attachment parenting (I probably still don't know enough)but I was thinking what kind of elite program is this?

    However, after reading your blog for a while now, I think it's safe to say that we see things in a similar light. It is hard to sit back and watch the train wreck, but sometimes it just makes for a good life lesson.