So, I’ve spent the bulk of the last 2 weeks on the offensive for my daughter….researching/interviewing/praying for guidance in how to structure her middle school years as a special needs child. It is a daunting task, and one I’m just learning to navigate.
I left my ego by the wayside long ago when it came to my little one. I’ve tried to search for the best alternative therapies and to mix it into the public school model. And, while not defeated, I am certainly humbled by the idea that perhaps I need to take a step back and look at my girl with more objective eyes.
As a toddler, it was no big deal that she couldn’t ride a bike…the fact that she was behind developmentally in kindergarten really didn’t seem that big a deal when kids couldn’t write their own names or color between the lines. I bought into a false sense of cautious optimism, because I knew her determination would carry her far. And it has. She remains in the top 3 percentile for kids with her brain anomaly. I have to hold on to that fact as I push forward to a new reality.
It is quite possible that my little angel will never go to college. Or drive a car. Or navigate a map without divine intervention. She may never progress beyond the “Would you like fries with that?” level of employment…that is not pessimism, it’s a realistic view. I feel my focus shifting towards giving her practical knowledge that she can use in everyday life, instead of working towards age appropriate educational goals.
Add into it the fact that I now must help her deal with the inevitable mean spirit that seems to prevail in the middle school world, where awkward tweens lash out in mean rants that spew out from deep seated insecurities…
And I will, like so many parents like me, wake up in the middle of the night in a dead panic, wondering if there is anything else I can be doing to help my child.
But in the clear-eyed mornings, I remind myself to count my blessings. Know it could be MUCH worse, and be grateful that my daughter is here to teach me patience, exceptance, and determination every day……