Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Math Enthusiasm

Even though we have a number of bathrooms in which our children could choose to bathe in, brush their teeth in, or get ready in, somehow the five of us end up in the bathroom I have clearly indentified and proclaimed as my own.

It has become a communal place of sorts, with toothbrushes stacked on top of one another, kid shampoo cluttering the shelf next to that of the adults, star war legos and bath toys lingering on the edge of the tub. It is not a place that could be described as tranquil or peaceful, and Calgon baths accessorized with scented candles and soothing music not remotely in the realm of possibility.

Last Friday morning, I was brushing my teeth IN MY BATHROOM, and John was tying his shoes. In walked Chase, complete with bedhead and sleep in his eyes, to take a shower before school.

“Good morning Chase!” greeted John. “ Are you excited about the Math Olympic meet you will be competing in today?”

“I guess,” responded Chase. “But it sounds like a whole lot of work to me.” We have had ongoing rhetoric/debate with our brainiac son concerning our continued attempts to, in his highly esteemed opinion, turn him into a complete nerd.

Conversations reminding Chase that God has gifted him in a manner that will be used for good and purpose one day, at times falls on deaf ears, even as I example a similar path taken by his dad. “Look at your dad,” I often respond. “You are becoming more and more like him every day.”

“Exactly my point,” says Chase,eyeing his dad’s weather radio, chess manuals, medical journals and volume after volume written by Ravi Zacharias.

The shower turns on and John and I continue to offer unsolicited encouragement regarding the math meet that will occur in just a few hours.

“It really is an honor to be representing your school,” I offer.

“All we ask is that you do your best. We know that you can do it!” continues John.

“Yeah,” I say, and then reaching from a place that took me back to the days of playing college basketball, I declare, “You need to get PUMPED UP for the meet! Get EXCITED! Get ENERGIZED about mathematics!”

I hear myself and immediately realize that I border on sounding ridiculous, but am also desperate to instill a little fervor into a nine-year-old boy who would rather compete in a baseball game than demonstrate his keen computation skills.

Predictably, we are met with silence.

A few minutes later, I am startled by boisterous singing emerging from the steam of the shower. It takes a moment for the two of us to recognize the song, and when we do, enormous grins spread across our faces.

Risin' up, straight to the top
Have the guts, got the glory
Went the distance, now I'm not gonna stop
Just a man and his will to survive

Trying not to ruin the passion of the moment, I slowly turn my head to watch the concert taking place under the shower head. Shampoo bottle in hand and eyes closed, Chase is singing with true gusto and joy, concentrating on each word in the lyrics, with an enthusiasm that is sure to put a spring in his step, and extra energy into his #2 pencil.

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the cream of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he's watchin' us all in the EEYYYEEE (big finish) .......... of the tiger

Chase finished third in the math competition that included numerous other schools in our state.

Our hearts swelled with pride as we watched our son receive his ribbon.
And somehow, somewhere, I think the heart of Rocky Balboa swelled a little, too.


acassidy said...

That is great! Congratulations to Chase! The Rocky theme song is played throughout our house before every softball game. Too cute!

Work In Progress said...

Way to go Chase! 4th graders ROCK!
We were very proud of all of you guys!

t-lady said...

Congratulations, Chase! We are proud of you! meemaw and pawpaw