This morning we had my daughter’s accommodations meeting for school. That’s the yearly meeting where we look at her accommodations that are in place due to her learning issues. She’s in 7th grade now, age 14. My job is to not talk. To let her answer for herself. To listen. I listened pretty well this morning, only jumping in with an answer twice, I think.
That’s so much of what parenting a teen calls for: a silent presence that says keep going, I got you.
No fixing allowed.
I want to fix.
I’m fierce: fiercely in love with my children.
I know enough to know both of my girls are capable enough to do almost everything by themselves.
It’s my job now to take this fierce love and teach it to be quiet. To let go of all of those years when I had to fiercely defend my girl when her learning accommodations were not met. Of course, they were mostly met. Sometimes they weren’t. All those years back there: they rise up and meet me sometimes. I’m back there learning how to be there in the way my daughter needed me to be there.
Now I practice being quiet. Or I ask her for a sentence and practice waiting for her to say it out loud to me so I can type it for her during homework time. Or I say, I don’t know how to do that, you’ll have to ask for help tomorrow. Or to sit in the room with her while she works, helping her write one sentence in an hour and a half of time where she worked by herself, but knowing she wants me there in case she needs me. Or reading a book out loud to her, which is just a lovely job for me.
I feel like I spend every Monday morning reconciling with this thing we call time. Time pushes me to be someone new when I just figured out how to be what I needed to be back there.
Here I am world, what do you need me to be now?