Monday, May 16, 2011

Waiting

I wrote this post 6 months ago and never published it. Tonight I re-read it and decided that I wanted to post it in the event it might help someone else. It doesn't feel quite as raw and fresh as it once did. I now have the gift of time and perspective. For better or for worse, this is part of our story.

November 2010

For the last several weeks my offline life has involved a great deal of assessing, discussing and analyzing one of my children with the help of educators and professionals. We have completed bubble forms, essay questions and visited the big city to spend hours being assessed by educational psychologists. At issue is the line between uniqueness and quirks in a precious personality and issues that may impede educational and social progress.

Despite my efforts at an evolved vocabulary, the best word I can find to succinctly describe my emotions is simply: UGH!

Twice this week I have spent three hour blocks sitting in a waiting room (with no WiFi, no television and continuous 80s music) trying to do anything I can to avoid worrying about how my child is ‘performing’ in the office down the hall and/or what opinions the psychologists may be formulating about my child (or my parenting!)

It will be another week before we get the feedback/conclusions (which, frankly, may never grace the pages of the blog). See this post.



I will say, I am learning to have a whole new appreciation for professionals (including teachers) that can honestly and graciously walk with nervous parents through this process of discovering more about our children and developing strategies to help them be the very best THEM they can be.

I tearfully told the Dr. during our first visit this week that my greatest desire (with all my children, not just this one in the spotlight) was not to see them remolded into some cookie cutter image, but to help them work through challenges to be the best THEM they could be.

I believe, as we read in the Psalms, that they were knit together in my womb by a Master Creator with a plan for their unique life. There is no diagnosis or psychological report that catches my God by surprise. He wrote the story. I must simply turn the page (with bated breath many days) to see what the next chapter holds.

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I thought quite a bit about whether or not to post this. I still don't feel like I should be telling some parts of my children's stories for all of the web to read--but this entry is my story: The story of a Mama anxiously waiting for parts of my children's identities to be revealed.

What is my motive? It is mixed. It is partially to remember how it felt to sit and wait for test results versus the perspective six months brings. The results led to an action plan and greater understanding. No, the results have really not been the headline. The headline has been learning to embrace to total package of each of my children and to remember that their childhoods are full of opportunities to learn more about them (whether formally in an office somewhere or informally along the journey of life).

The other part of my motive is to lift back the veil on what can be a lonely and frightening process of waiting to see how our children 'measure up.' This process told me about some areas we need to work on--but it also defined some great strengths. Ironically, I left almost wishing I could get my other two exhaustively tested--just to fast forward the process of discovery the next few years of elementary school are likely to bring. (NOT doing that, by the way.)

Perhaps the greatest lesson from this experience is what God has done in my heart. I have found myself doing far less 'apologizing' for the quirkiness and eccentricities and taking the time instead to laugh a little more and appreciate all the joy those gifts bring. Maybe that has been the most valuable test result of all!

8 comments:

ChelseaSalomone said...

*HUGS*

Liz said...

Sweet mama,
So many of us moms have been there, done that. I have one child with an anxiety disorder and OCD & had custody of our niece & nephew for a while, who both had a wide range of emotional & psychological issues (add, adhd, attachment disorder....). It is so very hard, as a mom, to know something's "up" with your child and have to come to the place of getting a diagnosis. But rest assured, having that diagnosis...finally being able to put your finger on what has been going on all along...seeking treatment or counseling, whatever is necessary...oh what a relief!

I pray that your child's diagnosis brought relief for you & your family!

Cathy said...

Thank you for writing your heart's thoughts. We all want our children to be "perfect" as society defines "perfect" and "normal". But you already know that he IS PERFECT in God's sight. My father told me tha God gives special children to special people.

As You Wish said...

Thank you for deciding to go ahead and post this today. It brought tears to my eyes. I am just starting this process with my daughter, and I truly appreciate your perspective and the reminder to appreciate exactly who God has made her to be rather than to focus on how she is different from other kids. God has a special plan for her, and I agree my job is to help her become the best version of herself not a copy of someone else.

VeeMama said...

Thank you for posting this today. I decided to start a blog and never published my first post for exactly this reason. I'm learning so much from one of my children and what we are going through but there is a fine line. You are an inspiration to me. thank you for your honesty and your heart!!!

Arlene @At Home with the Grimms said...

Thanks for sharing....I think that for most of us bloggers we want to share positive uplifting posts and sometimes that can be pretty superficial. Todays society expects everyone to be perfect and heaven help you if you are not. I have a son who has always been "quirky". He is very bright and I think that has something to do with it. He sees things differently than most people. He has grown into a young man who has a good job and is a husband and father. It is hard for mamas as we want to see the END result for reassurance...but my advice is to keep on doing what you are doing. Enjoy thise unique individual that God has entrusted to you.

Alyson said...

Thanks for posting this. In reading your blog, I see similarities between how you and I view parenting and life. I have a child who is "quirky" and does not fit the mold of a "normal" child (I use that loosely and for lack of a better word). We have been evaluated, tested, interventioned, diagnosed, etc. I remember the anxious feelings of how he is performing. I live the day to day dealings with the school on how he has done that day. I have finally come to peace with the fact that he is who God made him to be. He is a masterpiece from God, not afraid to be his own person, not afraid to think and walk outside of the box, not afraid to have his own opinions and voice them. I look forward to what the Lord will bring him to in his life. What he will be and how he will use who he is to become what he will be. And for now, I see his little quirks and smile, I enjoy hearing his point of view. The Lord has taken me on quite the journey with this as I have learned to not worry what others were thinking about him or my/our parenting, and just enjoy the journey we have with him.

Blair said...

Thank you so much for this post. As a mom "a few steps ahead of me" in this parenting gig, I really look up to you as a role model. While I know we all have our weak moments, you really seem to have your eye on the prize and are getting the most out of your children's childhood.

I too am struggling with how much to share about my 5.5 year old. She is expressing her wishes that I not share stories, yet I don't want to forget such precious moments. She too was a preemie with a speech delay and we are starting to see that come in to play at school. Having her tested is our next step. While I know she is a bright, wonderful, perfect in my eyes child, we still want to give her every advantage I can in school and life...and I want to be able to parent her better. Hard to do when there is a verbal delay (or we think anyway..).

Again, thank you for sharing. I really needed to read this post.