Tangent — All is Right with the World!

Yesterday was a pleasure! If you don’t know why, then I assume you’ve been under a rock for the last 24 hours and don’t realize ‘The Hobbit’ trailer finally came out! See it here.

And for the Frenz household there is another joy, and I’ve got to share it. My son is in his first year away at college and my third child to go to college. Of the three, he is the one SO and I have been most concerned about adapting to academia. He is dyslexic, and reading has been a terrific trial for him. He was nine years old before he learned to read and so naturally was behind. But more than that, he had already begun to think of himself as ‘the dumb one at school.’ Getting help for his dyslexia has been much easier than helping him to overcome this attitude about his abilities. It took years before he stopped saying he was dumb. Thankfully, in his last few years in K-12, he began to understand he had a great ability in math. He also became a wicked chess player and has a diabolical way around a Rubik’s cube. I think his record for the cube is around 20 seconds. He does it at parties to entertain and has even done it with his eyes closed a couple of times but not at 20 seconds! When I’ve said, “And you think everyone can do that?” his response, “Oh, it’s nothing, Mom, it’s just a trick.” Whatever. I know the cube or a chess board or anything to do with logic or a puzzle is nothing to him. He gets it and gets it big time.

But all that wonderful logic went out the window when confronted with the possibility of going off to college. He was terrified. Yet there was no problem dealing with the recruiters for his athletic scholarship. That was another game to him. However, having to go to class and having to possibly read 50-100 pages of material a day and then write something about it?!! Kill me now! was his thinking. Well, he ended his first semester and will receive a 4.0 or something just shy of it. He is pumped as you can imagine, and obviously, so are we. He never believed he could pull that off, and he kept telling us, “Don’t expect me to do as well as the girls. Please don’t expect that!” We would have been happy with his grades as long as we knew he was trying and told him, “Just let yourself learn how to do school.” He did that, but his competitive nature made him go the distance to make those grades.

Mostly, it is the culmination of years of him coming to an understanding that he is capable. Along the way I learned not to be depressed about his struggles. and thankfully, I’ve realized they have made him a better person. He is very compassionate toward others who have difficulties and often finds himself in situations where others need help and now he believes he can help!

I asked him how he would rate his first semester of school on a scale of 1 to 10. He said it was a 10, and I took exception to that, so he said, “Okay, it was a nine and a half since my classes weren’t challenging enough.”

note: A big thank you to bccmee for editing my son’s photo which will go on the Wall of Fame at the high school where he ran track and won two state titles and was All State several times. The photo is beautifully done, and my son also says a hearty thank you for that!

edit: A little clip of the Rubik’s obsession. I noticed his time is slipping a bit. He’s back up to 40+ seconds:

If he did this as he normally does, he let someone else scramble the cube.


  1. Wow Wow!!!! That’s fantastic!!!

  2. I cried.

  3. Congratulations!!

  4. Congratulations!!! I (the mother of 2 adult children) have, as I’m sure you have, always felt my greatest achievements were through my children. Your son is a testimony to how you raised him. Go You and your SO.

  5. Congratulations to him!

  6. What a Christmas present from your son, Frenz! Well done, mother and son!
    Have a lovely holiday with the family.

  7. Thank you all. I had breathed a sigh of relief when he told us he really liked school and that his grades would be good. I had no idea they would be great. He has already loaded himself up with next semester’s classes, and they are more difficult. We don’t want him to overwhelm himself, but I think he’s selected a good mix of things. Mostly, I’m just so glad he knows he can succeed now, and if he messes up some classes, I think he will deal with it.

    His older sisters are beside themselves about this. They are absurd about protecting him anyway. I pity the girl he ends up with. LOL!

  8. LOL! I just got this message from a blog about free kindle books that I follow —-> What Your Son Isn’t Telling You – Free from Amazon Kindle Store today.

    Oh, I probably never let up on thinking that there’s something I don’t know — especially regarding my 18 year old son.:D

  9. Frenz,

    That is wonderful. Yes, by your son not having everything come easily for him, having to work hard and sometimes struggle, he is surely a better and more compassionate person for it.

    My older sister, Sara, was born with scar tissue on her eyes due to my mother contacting toxoplasmosis and transmitting it to her in the womb (completely unbeknownst to mom as there are no symptoms in the mother). I remember as a child of eight reading her civics lessons to her because in the midst of the flare-up she could not see the type.

    She has never had normal vision and periodic flare-ups have further eroded her sight.

    But there was nothing wrong with the girl’s brain, and she is very grateful for that because toxo can affect the entire central nervous system. She says she was lucky only her vision was affected.

    She faced obstacles and adversities along the way, but she got her college degree and her master’s and ended up receiving the Caseworker of the Year Award on more than one occasion during her years spent with the State Rehabilitation Services. She had t take early retirement due to health reasons, but in her years as a counselor, she helped many people. She is one of the kindest, most unselfish and compassionate people While she has heart problems in relation to her health, her heart as a center of goodness is very healthy.

    Once a visually impaired client was bemoaning their circumstances and telling Sara, “Oh, you don’t know what it’s like for someone like me.” My sister said she just smiled as she thought “As a matter of fact, I DO.”

    Congrats to your son and a virtual hug for the proud mama. :D

  10. Thanks, Angie. And your sister sounds like a class act. How wonderful that she was able to take that adversity and use it to the benefit of so many others! I hope my son will do as well.

  11. He sounds like an inspiration for us all, Frenz. 50-100 pages a day of academic literature is scary enough for anyone, I know I nearly start hyperventilating at the mere thought, let alone someone who’s dyslexic. Well done him! Really happy he’s settling in and does so well in college. :)

  12. Having been in your very shoes, I share your joy! Nothing tears a mom’s heart out faster than a child who thinks he’s below par and nothing bring a mom’s heart brilliant joy…you know the kind of joy that’s sparkly and dances around and kind of explodes like a child who has discovered that he has something to offer the world. Wow. Just wow.

    Having met your son, I can say without doubt, he’s on a path to wonderful things and his path is being guided by the wisdom of parents who love him and by the Lord G-d who is in control and cherishes him more even than you do. Kind of hard to imagine!!

    Congratulations to you ALL!!! Nice Christmas present huh?!

  13. Thank you, Traxy. It is such a blessing!

    NB, Thank you, and yes, the Lord G-d is in control, and despite my snarky cloak here, you know I mean that.

  14. It so nice to see/read how proud you are of him. I sure hope he is proud of himself too. He obviously worked hard to get get here. He may never know this, but he has a group of RA fans who are rooting for him to go all the way.

  15. Thank you, Gracie, I will tell him! :)

  16. Aw! Well done to him! And congrats to you and SO both! :D

  17. Congratulations!

  18. Such a nice thing to share! I’m very happy for your son’s accomplishments!

  19. Congratulations, Frenz! You must be so proud :)

  20. That’s fantastic news! I know you and he are very proud.

  21. May I add my “Congratulations to you both”, too? And thank you for sharing this news with us. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  22. Very good – you’re a proud mama!

  23. Congratulation!
    So he is smart and (if memory serves me well) handsome!:)

  24. I just realized I never responded to these latest messages. Thank you all so much. He’s now finished his second semester and did well in that too. He’s taking a math class this summer so he can get much further ahead. I get pumped when I see him up early doing his homework. Love it!!! As for being handsome, I can’t really answer that since I’m so biased — all my children are beautiful! :D

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