My daughter is 10. She has friends that love her, she’s talented in so many amazing ways. She can sing like I have always dreamed of, she can sew things I can’t imagine, she is artistic and emotional and so much better than me in almost every way. A lot of these gifts are a gift of dyslexia. Dyslexia has given her the gift of art, of seeing the whole picture before it’s completed, of empathy, compassion and an amazing heart.
As you might imagine, despite all of her incredible gifts, she struggles with reading. HARD. She’s so intuitive and creative that she understands things that most ten year olds shouldn’t. Unrelated to her dyslexia she is just an old soul. A few years ago, when I was making sure she knew how special she was, we were in the car and she said something I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
Me- “Rylee, you have artistic intelligence that some people dream of. You have a beautiful voice, you are great at math.”
Rylee (holding back tears, because she is also “too strong” to cry”)-” Mom, singing isn’t going to help me check out in the grocery store”
Damn. She’s right, but she shouldn’t know that yet.
We’ve been homeschooling three years and I can’t say that I have a beautiful thought out mission statement other than “Teach my kids to read and that they are valued no matter what” because once they have that, they just need to be taught how to learn. I’ll admit it, I have no idea what she goes through because I read at 5, but we have fought for it for three years. But I do know what I have seen over the years.
Her being embaressed in front of friends
Tears of frustration
A lot of “I’ll never be able to read”
“I’m not like you mom, I can’t just read”
Mom’s shattering heart
Then last night, my girl couldn’t sleep. I offered what I have 7000 times before in her life. ” Would you like to read me a book? Sometimes that helps me get sleepy.” Her words, “Well, I might as well have a good attitude about it, because that really makes things easier.” And she did. She walked downstairs and got her chapter book ( Nory Ryan’s Song) and read 3 whole pages. I held it together while we sat and she read, but after I kissed my baby goodnight, I cried happy tears. Hearing her read will never get old. Ever.