Everyone who met Dillon liked him. He was just one of those kids. Easy to get to know, Dillon was always happy and full of zest for life. He made friends quickly and loved getting groups of kids together for a favorite activity. He also loved baseball, so he often organized a group of friends to play a game after school. He would call all of his buddies and line up the necessary equipment and set up the teams. This, of course, was never as easy as it sounded. Some of his friends just wanted to win, no matter what, and pushed to be on teams with the best players. Some of his friends wanted only to be with the kids they liked the best, and still others wanted to make sure they were not on teams with the kids they didn’t like. It was amazing that Dillon could ever get the two teams set up. But after lots of phone calls, some negotiating and even some sweet talk (Dillon could not believe how much of this he had to do), the teams were set to go. Dillon’s parents never ceased to be astonished at his ability to organize and make things happen at such a young age.
Dillon loved being involved in lots of different activities, so when the opportunity came to participate in the upcoming science fair, he immediately asked his parents if he could do a project. His parents were a bit hesitant since he was already on a baseball team and participating in Cub Scouts. In addition, even though he was only in second grade he had quite a lot of homework four nights a week. Of course, Dillon pleaded and charmed his parents into agreeing to let him participate. He called a few friends and soon had a group of four boys who agreed to work on the science project together. The group decided to do a product taste-testing experiment to see which colas people liked best. Even though the project wasn’t too difficult for the boys to do, it still required that they spend time collecting the results from the taste-testing. Unfortunately, after the initial excitement of the project, they all soon lost interest and were distracted by other activities. Once again, Dillon took on the job of organizing the project. He asked his mom to pick up three different kinds of colas and paper cups from the grocery store and called all of the boys to set up a time and place to begin the project. Naturally, they were all busy with other activities, but Dillon was able to talk two of the boys into joining him. They decided to set up a table near the baseball field during a game. It turned out to be a good idea since lots of people were thirsty and happy to do the taste test. Soon, though, the other boys started running around having fun playing with their other friends and watching the game. Dillon was stuck at the table alone, trying to fill the cups and keep track of what each person chose as their favorite cola.
By the time Dillon got home, he melted into tears and frustration. How could his friends desert him like that and leave him with all of the work? When Dillon’s mother saw how frustrated he was, she suggested that he could choose not to do the science project this year, if he wished. He was only eight years old and this was just a volunteer project. That only made matters worse. Dillon was even more upset and, through his tears, said that he had already started the project and it would be wrong not to finish it. Obviously, for him, dropping the project at this point was not an option. Dillon’s mother wished she could just offer to help him collect the information herself, but she knew her son too well to suggest this. Instead of bailing Dillon out, she suggested that they invite all of the boys and their moms over for pizza, sort of a mom/son science pizza-planning party. That way, Dillon could help the group figure out who could do what, when. She hoped that having the moms there would help ensure that the boys all met their commitments. Dillon thought that this was a great idea and cheered up immediately.
The science pizza party was a great success. In the end everyone met their commitments and the project was completed on time. Dillon was so proud that he was able to finish this project. He was not the only one who learned something important, though; Dillon’s mom learned a lot about her son’s strengths and weaknesses. Dillon was hard-working and determined. He had lots of interests and energy. But he could easily get over his head and Dillon’s mother would have to help him balance his interests and commitments to avoid being overwhelmed.
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