Endurance-The Elusive Letter S

by Frank


Photo by Cecile Graat

My son has been working on his manuscript. He has spent countless hours writing over and over again various letters of the alphabet. Letters are the first thing he sees when he wakes up. Letters are the last thing he sees before he goes to bed. He even carries around a workbook in his backpack with traceable letters. Not only is he writing but he is also reading and by his own doing working on his addition.

My son is 5 years old or 5 1/2 if you ask him. Thanks to a dear friend of ours who worked with him over the summer on his kindergarten curriculum he is doing things he would not have worked on into the first grade. I am thoroughly impressed and frustrated at the same time. Now when I spell stuff I don’t want him to hear me say he sounds it out and says it anyway.

In all of the fun and excitement my son has become so confident in his skills that he argues with me every time I get him to practice his letters. His favorite complaint is, “I already know how to write my letters.” I can’t disagree, he does know what they look like it is just the duplication I am concerned with. There is one letter that gives him the most trouble and that my friend is the letter S.

For some odd reason he thinks that 25 letters is good enough to get the job done. Who needs the letter S anyway? It is just way to frustrating to sit around and write the same letter over and over again until he gets is right. He would much rather watch TV. That was until his homework assignment was writing the letter S from school.

My son spent the entire evening working on homework that usually takes him about 5 minutes. You could see the frustration in his eyes. He screamed, he cried, he wrote and erased, he quit and started over, and celebrated like he won the lottery when he finished.  I was proud. He endured and conquered the letter S.


While watching my sons experience I learned two valuable lessons that I would like to share with you today.

  • Endure with purpose

We go through challenges in our lives sometimes that seem like they are life threatening. At least for that moment in time it feels like the world is falling apart and if this issue wasn’t in our way we would be just fine. What I learned from watching my son that it is endurance is a great display of character but it is best if used with a purpose.

If he did not learn to write the letter S he would not have learned how to appropriately write and spell words. So while you struggle with your issue, look at it from this stand point; If you don’t endure what are the consequences?

  • Celebrate your Success

My son was frustrated well beyond his boiling point but he refused to give up. He wanted to get a sticker on his homework assignment. So when he finished it there was a celebration like no other. The main point was he finished. If there is a challenge that has taken every ounce of energy and joy you have, celebrate when you conquer it.

I don’t know what your letter S is but I say just start writing and get it over with. There is a lot more work to be done. We are starting subtraction next week. 🙂