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.
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.
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!