School Happens

I promised pictures Monday of our “pansy” mania.  Well, we did it.  Several trips to a couple of our favorite roadside pumpkin stands and nurseries.  It was hot.  It was humid, but we persisted.  Unfortunately, in the midst of our “happy pansy frenzy”, school happened.  Another struggle for this SecondSeasonMom.  On top of that it got cloudy and foggy.  The pictures didn’t happen.  And while at first I felt guilty, I realized the whole point of doing this blog was to share my journey, to become more self-aware.  The point was to journey towards clarifying my purpose during this season.  Well, no greater purpose has this mom than to care for her family and to advocate for her children.  So the guilt was set aside.  (It turned out great, and I promise pictures before week’s end.)

I think I’ve mentioned before, I have a daughter with ADD and a learning disability.  Nothing compared to the autism spectrum issues or health issues many of my friends and family face with their children and the educational system.  Yet, it is still enough to take up large portions of our time and crumble both her and my self-esteem.  We had studied diligently and had worked for hours filling out reading guides, note guides, chapter summaries etc… More work than was ever required of me, even in college!  But in the end, she did it.  We quizzed orally, over and over.  We quizzed in the car, in the yard, at breakfast, after dinner…  Unfortunately to no avail.  How can a child know so much, have so much passion for life, so much compassion for others and miss the mark on tests?  I hit the wall.  The frustration of 5 years in public, 4 years in a private school that prides itself on helping students with learning disabilities in the least restrictive environment (for additional tuition), speech/audiology therapy, tutoring and, hours of personal blood, sweat and tears.  It seemed there should be something more.  It seemed it shouldn’t be so frustrating for her. As I looked over questions, talked to her twin sister about the tests, I couldn’t help but wonder.  Has education become about trying to show how much content we can throw at kids?  Does anyone care whether or not these kids are really learning?  Is it enough to memorize facts?  In my book, yes, it is in some subjects.  Should the test be confusing or should it ask straight up questions to see if you know the memorized facts?  I think the latter.  I could go on and on.  Four years as an elected school board member and piles of educational reviews, medical reviews etc… fill my brain, hard drive, and file cabinet.  But, that is not the point.  I’d like to champion the cause for all kids, but in this moment, in this season I need to raise the spirits of God’s precious child, uniquely and wonderfully made in His image.  I have no doubt, like so many others with learning disabilities, she is destined for greatness.  She may not graduate with honors and a semester worth of college credits.  She may not get an academic scholarship.  But, this I know.  This daughter of mine knows the deep sting of disappointment, rejection of friends, words spoken in frustration by tired teachers and a tired mom.  This daughter of mine knows how to keep going, to overcome obstacles.  This daughter of mine knows God’s word and knows her Savior personally.  This daughter of mine is incredibly gifted at teaching God’s word and praying heartfelt prayers for those in need.  This daughter of mine sees God’s beauty in the smallest of places at the most unlikely times.  This daughter of mine never utters a berating word towards a friend or another child.  This daughter of mine is the first to welcome the “different” student.  This daughter of mine is incredible.  Together this daughter and I will figure this out.

So, today this SecondSeasonMom apologizes for pictures not taken and posted.  I’m going to smile as I pass all those pansies and pumpkins in the yard on the way to pick up my precious cargo.

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