Monday, March 28, 2011

Never Giving Up

When the Princess was younger she had a hard time in school. We worked and studied and worked some more but, it just seemed like something was just not clicking. After having her tested, we discovered that she had a learning disability. Through our school we were able to get her the extra help she needed. It could be so frustrating because she was very intelligent. She was also very artistic and could do anything on a computer. Yet, her reading  and spelling were way below level.

I was told that she would probably never read above a 6th grade level. I was told by some (not teachers) that she would most likely drop out of school. Mostly out of frustration. All of this was told to the wrong Mama!

I made sure that I made all of her IEP meetings, I met with teachers and stayed in contact with them. I helped her with homework, sat and listened to her read and I read book after book trying to find different techniques to help her learn and study.

Slowly but surely, we started to see improvement. She worked so hard and by the end of the eighth grade her reading level was on a twelfth grade level. As she started high school, I was so worried about her passing the exit exam. For those of you not in Alabama. This is the test that each child must pass in order to graduate from high school. There are several parts and each one has to be passed.

I watched this child who had struggled so in school go from mostly C's and occasional B's to A's & B's! Recently she took the exit exam. My anxiety has been high, just waiting on the results. Today......we got them. She passed every single section of that exam and did it on the first try! I laughed, cried and smiled until I thought I was going to be sick!

Our schools have some of the best teachers around. They helped us and worked hard to get her where she is! I don't care what anyone says......if you want to make sure a child with a learning disability succeeds, it takes hard work on the part of the child, a parents interest and involvement and the diligence of some truly wonderful teachers.

During all these years we never once gave up. She never gave up on herself and I never gave up on her. Today I felt like we made it! I know she still has two more years of school but, she did it......she really did it.

The best part of all is the confidence she has gained in herself. I came in from work and started telling her how proud and excited I was for her. She just looked at me and nodded. I said "aren't you excited?" She gave me that look like "whatever"! This told me all I needed to know. She knows what she is capable of and the things that used to be a struggle for her has now become routine and second nature. My little Princess has turned into a mature confident young woman. She knows what she can do and she doesn't need a test to tell her!

It is all about never giving up......never give up on yourself as a parent and most importantly......Never.....Ever.....give up on your child!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Detour

You know how it is when you head to a particular destination and you have your route all mapped out and suddenly you come to a detour? Your first thought is great! I'll never get to where I am headed! Then you start following the little detour turn here and you turn there and suddenly there you are......right where you were planning on going in the first place.

Have you ever noticed how our lives are just like this? This has really come home to me in the last couple of days. As parents, we start making plans for our children from the time they are born. Along the way we have to make these little detours and sometimes we even change our plans for them but, they always arrive at the exact place they were meant to be.

Today, I want to tell you about our plans for our middle son Big E. The last couple of years he has been in college with plans to get his nursing degree. He has worked at our local grocery store, while going to school. He is a hard worker and a good student. We had a path planned out and his path was set until........we ran into one of those detours!

Our son and his girlfriend's lives have suddenly come upon a detour called a baby! Yep, I am going to be a Grandma (um yea....gonna have to come up with a better name than that!). Any way, my first thoughts were...."What about school will they finish....can they finish?" My answer is yes!

Even though he had a straight route planned toward finishing school and now he has run into a detour, he can still do it. The path now has a few twist and turns that we did not expect but, in the end he can still reach his destination.

A baby is a blessing regardless of the circumstances or the timing. Even though this little one was not in our plans, it WAS in God's plans. We are going to take this little detour as the gift God meant for it to be. My son and his sweet girlfriend will reach the destination they are meant to and they will do it with the love of their families behind them.

Today, I am thanking the Lord for his many blessings both big and small but, I am especially thanking him for life's little detours!