Mom Always Berated Her Son For Getting Bad Grades In School. But She Got Surprised When He Did This At Her Dad’s Funeral.

I was one of those lucky children for whom learning came easy. So, when I became a parent, I naturally assumed that if I read to both of my children faithfully and offered them fun, educational playtimes, they would follow in my footsteps. They, too, would learn, retain materials and receive all As as I had done.

Amanda, my first child, was right on target. She learned quickly and earned good grades. However, even though I practiced the same methods with my second child, Eric, I sensed that life would be a challenge, not only for his teachers, but for Eric and myself personally.

I did my part for this sweet, loving youngster who was never a discipline problem for anyone. I made sure his homework was completed each night, kept in touch with his teachers, and enrolled him in every assistance program the school had to offer. But, no matter how hard he struggled, report cards with Cs were met with frustration and tears. I could see his discouragement and feared he would lose all interest in learning. Soon I doubted myself.

Where had I failed my son? I wondered. Why couldn’t I motivate him to help him succeed? I felt if he didn’t excel in school, he would be unable to create a life of his own or support himself—and perhaps a family someday.

Eric was a sixteen-year-old blonde when my eyes were opened. We were sitting in the living room when the phone rang; a message that my father had suffered a massive heart attack and died at age seventy-nine.

“Papa,” as Eric had called him, had been such a part of my little boy’s life during his first five years. Since my husband worked nights and slept days, it was Papa who took him for haircuts, ice cream and played baseball with him during those earlier times. Papa was his number-one pal.
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