“Things don’t go away. They become you. There is no end, but addition.” -T.S. Elliot
What does it mean to have a child with learning disabilities come early September? I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but as I slowly wade into a new school year, this is what it means for me:
- Your child’s new teacher gets to know you early and well.
- Her old tutors will start giving you pep talks on how far your child has come when they hear worry in your voice.
- Your child will ask, “What’s the big deal?” when you exclaim over her completing a supposedly simple task. She has no idea that same task seemed insurmountable a year ago.
- You will convince said child of the merits of school again, and again, and again.
- You will sound ridiculous when you do this.
- If you are an avid talker like me, everyone will know you as the lady with the kid who repeated kindergarten.
- You will get support from mere acquaintances.
- You will sometimes long for your child to pick up a book and read it with ease.
- This feeling will pass fairly quickly because your kid is funny and smart and makes sure you are present when she is in the room with you.
- And of course you are lucky. You have resources galore. And everyone has pain. Most people aren’t yelling their pain from the nearest rooftop.
- And it no longer feels like pain anyway. It just feels like your life. And it’s a good life.
2 thoughts on “Add It Up”
Through the years I have been awed by your poems and continue to enjoy your writing.
While my son is academically very gifted, his day is constantly impacted by sensory issues. While you wish that your precious daughter will pick up a book with ease, I am wishing that my son is invited to a birthday party or after school play date. I find myself advocating for my twice-exceptional son on a daily basis. I have to remind my son’s school about his sensory issues when they call to tell me that he was disruptive in the crowded (and loud) assembly and I have to explain how painful the volume is to him while they play instruments in music class. Blessings to you and yours! I believe you might find some similarities in our stories 😉