In the last few weeks I have been very concerned about my younger son. He has had issues with a reading delay. At 9, he lacks the fluency and comfort with reading that is expected by his school and teachers. It is a sobering experience to fathom that despite his remarkable intelligence, his reading is hindering him. It is like a toddler with chronic ear infections who has speech delays because they cannot hear people talking. Instead of focusing on what he is not doing well, I shifted and focused on what he does exceptionally well. His comprehension is that of a middle schooler. So I read the problems to him. He can solve word problems in his head; he can hear a story and answer questions and talk through an essay. Getting those thoughts and words through his brain, out his peripheral nerves to move the muscles in his hand is not so easy. To move a pen and form letters on paper dissipates like water vapor. It gets lost in the transmission. And he gets lost in the frustration.
Watching his frustration has been gut wrenching. And watching him fret over disappointing me or his teachers is doubly hard. I praise him abundantly. I use direct and encouraging tones. He is so perceptive; he sense the slightest inflection in the spoken word. His mind is a super computer compiling all the data he collects from his environment. He distills it into the belief that he is not measuring up. And he worries and apologies! To realize your child is anxious over disappointing YOU makes you stop and ask…..what is really important? He is important. He needs to know I think he is grand and stunning and brilliant. All the other junk, we can work out together.
Recently I reflected that bad news comes in threes. Well, maybe good news comes in threes, too. I had a tough day on Sunday. Sundays are not my best days. So, on Monday, the generous universe gave me three gifts.
- I had a particularly difficult medical case. It is a young mother with a new and distressing medical condition, a puzzle that has had a few in the office stumped. And out of my medical intuitiveness, I pull a hunch that ends up a bull’s eye on the diagnosis. She shoots, she scores. It feels good to be reminded you are smart.
- Then I took on the challenge to cook dinner for my partners. We have a monthly administrative meeting over dinner, usually at some area restaurant. I elected to cook this month instead. And cook I did! I cooked like a crazy woman and made a fabulous meal. My only error was I did not take any photographs. All left sated and happy. And…we did our meeting agenda over apple galette.
- Close to midnight, while checking my email, I get something from the school with E’s grades. Literally biting my nails, I open the email. I am instantly bubbly and jumping around happy. I am so proud! He did it. He did the work; he proved to me and his teachers and hopefully himself that he can do this. I wanted to jump on the bed and celebrate.
I was so grateful when I laid down to sleep for a day of reminders. I am smart. I am generous and thrill in caring and pampering others. And I am joyous that my E will conquer his obstacles with support and encouragement. It was a good day!