Lesser of two evilspublished: 2010-05-21
The lesser of two evils. If you’re writing fiction, it’s a powerful tool to confront characters with: two options, both of which are bad. One is only slightly less bad than the other.
In real life, it’s no fun to find yourself in that position. No fun at all.
For the past three days, my son has started going to school. In comes a call from a school which is much closer to our home, but had a waiting list. Suddenly, they have a spot for him. Now.
Do we do it it now? Tell him tomorrow morning he’s changing schools and then start easing him into that decision next week? Or do it later, after he’s had some time to settle in, perhaps made friends, but with a 6 week Summer gap during which we can introduce the transition?
We decided: now.
As a child, I moved from country to country with my family and went through various school systems. At my son’s age, I switched country, school and language: French to English. On my first day at the English school, I punched anyone that came near me. I very rapidly learned it would being nice was smarter. From then on, I went through every first day at a new school clenching my teeth, and smiling like an idiot until my ears burned. While inside my heart was pounding.
Maybe the decision itself isn’t the issue here. Maybe it’s teaching my son how to cope. I need to give him a good script, one that says: be yourself and you’ll be fine. Simply because you yourself are lovely.