I don't know about Adela, but there sure were butterflies in my stomach each day I sent her off to school those first few weeks. My mind swarmed with worries. Will she pay attention? Will she show the teacher we have been working on holding a pencil this summer? Will she be respectful? Will she make friends? Will anyone be able to understand her English-Spanish jargon?
Adela is, in my mind, a spectacular child. I love the way she nurtures her animals, includes Micaela in games, and enjoys extra-dramatic imaginary play. But school is not coming easy to her. I thought it would. School always fit me like a guppy in the ocean. However, Adela hasn't shown much interest in academics and her speech delays have become a source of frustration for her.
In my mind and heart it is difficult for me not to start freaking out. My thoughts get caught up in a cycle where all I can think about are activities that might help her bridge the gap so she won't always struggle.
As my heart hurts for her, God has been leaving me bread crumbs everywhere so I can grasp a more important truth. A couple days ago when I was speaking to Micaela's vision therapist I finally got it--RELAX.
Micaela's vision therapist raised two boys who are now in their 30's. She smiled at me as I related to her my concerns for Adela and shared that one of her boys did not take to reading when he was in school but that now as an adult he loves spending hours reading huge novels. She said she had wished that she had relaxed more as a mother because in the big scheme of things everything worked out just fine.
Her simple story helped me take a deep breath and give myself some peace.
Academics are important but they are not everything. I know lawyers who have always made C's in school and college but are stunning at their jobs. I know that good work ethics trump a naturally ability to grasp phonetics and number sense. And anyone with a healthy sense of self-worth and a relationship with God is going to fulfill a path that is beyond what my own mind can comprehend.
Adela needs love more than she needs to know the correct way to hold a pencil. She needs positive reinforcement for all she does well more than she needs to be able to write her alphabet right now. Helping her learn how to get a job done and feel good about herself is priceless.
My job isn't easy, but to do it right I need to relax. I need to stop trying to shove her precious soul into that box I made for her and let her be the person God created.
If you are a mom or dad struggling with this, I encourage you to talk to God. Ask Him for strength and peace to accept the child He gave you as you prepare them for His plan.