Good Intentions

Remember that U2 song “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”? That’s how I feel right now. Everyone around me is gracious. They tell me, “Annie is going to be just fine.” And I know that, logically. I realize people have the best intentions and they are saying this with all of the good feelings they can muster for us.

But I am here. I’m in the moment with the kid getting used to four new tutoring sessions. I’m with the child who doesn’t want to go to school and certainly doesn’t want to go back to school after speech therapy. I see her struggling through tasks other kids do with ease. I feel her anger, her annoyance, her not wanting to do anything if it just can’t be easy for once.

So I am sad and frustrated and not wanting to be stuck in this moment. I am full of grief. Chris asks, “Why can’t you just accept it?” And I am and I can, but who knew there were so many stages on the way to acceptance? Who knew you had to grieve the perfect dream you had for your child? In my other universe, Annie was going to start kindergarten and magically start learning her letters one-by-one. Instead, we are at the very beginning of a journey that involves a whole new set of words and categories and ways of seeing.

Someday soon I may have gratitude for this path I didn’t choose. But right now I’m still in that hard, uncomfortable spot. Really, world, this strange, gnarly tree is for us to climb? You are lucky that I really like trees, or else I might just turn back and forget all this figuring out how to teach a child to read without the use of the usual easy ladder rungs. I’m guessing Annie and I will both have calluses and super strong muscles by the time she reads her very first book. It will be worth it, I know. But excuse me while I step outside for a bit more scream therapy.

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