School always came easily to me. I was the one my classmates turned to if they didn’t understand what the teacher had explained. I was an ‘A’ student. I took university courses my senior year of high school and graduated university in three years.
So having one of my children really struggle with schoolwork is not easy for me. Not so much because I think it should be easy for him, as I because I just can’t relate to him that way. I don’t have that kind of experience to personally draw from.
There is a history of dyslexia in my family. My dad is quite dyslexic, and my sister less so. However, to get any sort of testing done that will get him the extra help he needs is not easy. There are lots of children and few resources, especially since he is not behaviorally challenged (or challenging). He’s a well-behaved, well-spoken child who has problems expressing himself through writing, and some challenges with reading.
For me, this means I have to become an advocate for my child, also not a role I am used to. I have to be vigilant and persistent, and I have to be involved. As a woman who values my independence and the independence of my children, this is a big challenge for me.
I’m used to doing my own thing, and allowing my children to do theirs. I’ve been a bit of a hands off kind of mom. I don’t ignore my children. I also don’t hover over their every move. So now that I have to sit with and supervise this one to do his homework, I’m coming up against some resistance in myself.
I have my own projects I want to work on, and I can’t do that when I am helping him spell words, or making sure he is reading them correctly.
Yet I want him to be able to succeed in life. And in our society, that means being able to read and write. If he can crack the code now, the rest of his life will be so much easier. If I don’t put the time in with him now, he will likely only fall farther and farther behind.
So I am faced with a recurring challenge in my life – taking responsibility for my choices versus doing what I want to do. How can I mesh my desires with my responsibility?
I chose to have children. I chose that responsibility. And there are things I want to do that don’t necessarily involve my children.
The time they are young and dependent on me is really such a short time. And the other things I want to do will still be there. I do myself a favor by nurturing and guiding them now so that they can be truly independent as they grow. Time to bring on my mama bear!