Poor Marsha. That was all I could think as I tearfully rolled the stroller out of the school office. Poor Marsha whom I ambushed with sobs. I hadn't expected to be so emotional. They just said that Adela might benefit from some extra help and that they would do further testing in August. That is all. But to me it felt like the greatest catastrophe.
I called Jovani to tell him the horrific news. Don't laugh, but his reaction was disappointing. He did not join me in doom and gloom about our little girl's predicament. Instead, he frustrated me with his optimism.
"So she is going to get some extra help. That is great. Right? We know she is bright. And with everything going on with Micaela, Adela could use some attention. What is wrong?" Jovani looked at me so worried like I had grown an extra head.
What was wrong?
For the thousand answers I could give to that question, the truthful one was a little scary.
I want her to be exceptional, spectacular, amazing in the traditional ways that our society views success: a renown surgeon, the President, a NASA engineer, etc. *gulp* Yeah, cheesy, I know. And why do I want those things for her? Because it would show I have been successful as a parent.
Wow. I had not realized I felt that way until right then. I say all the right things about wanting Adela to be happy socially and have faith in God. My husband and I have talked about what she might do or be like and we always simply say that we hope she finds God's will for her. We hope she is happy.
But right there, right then, when the testing data showed Adela's possible difficulties, I had to face that my thoughts about Adela were not healthy. Not everyone one is going to be a surgeon or president. Look at me. I'm a stay-at-home mom. And I love it. Neither I nor my parents have ever been unhappy about that choice. My dad always tells me how proud he is of me, how truly happy he is about the path I am on.
Two close friends of mine recently shared their priorities when it comes to their children and they make so much sense that I have adopted them.
My friends Jessica who teaches preschool and has enough tricks up her sleeve to teach her little girl how to read and do multiplication before she starts kindergarten told me this: My most important goal for my little girl is for her to know how to make friends. She could do or be anything in life, but someone who isn't polite, kind, caring, and considerate will miss out on so much. (Her daughter is 3.)
My sister, Ada, with her normal touch of humor, said this: I want them, first of all to know God, to truly know Him. I want them to be kind to others and find something to do with their lives that makes them happy. And, honestly, I just want them to survive to adulthood. (Her three rambunctious little boys are ages 2, 4, and 5.)
Taking their cue I decided to take a stab at what I want for my little girls. I wrote down some healthy and loving goals I have for them.
* I want them to have a personal relationship with God.
* I want them to have friends and perhaps a family of their own.
* I want them to find and love whatever it is God has planned for them.
* I want them to always know that Jovani and I love them, no matter what.
That is all. And that is enough. Because if either one of our daughters was to be President of the United States but miss out on one of the points above then it would be very heartbreaking. But, if they were to do anything with their lives and fulfill all the points above, then I will shall be more than content.
This parenting business gets complicated when we don't have a crystal ball in front of us and cannot see what the futures of our children hold. But, hey, we can build foundations. We can focus on today.
And that is more than enough.
Photo above is of Ada's 5 year-old, Samuel and Jessica's 3 year-old, Tilly.
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
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