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Lots of interesting posts today. Good one on feminism and Anne McCaffrey's Pern series, especially all the comments, over at Kate Elliot's lj. Good one on motherhood and writing over at the home of BitterCon, Sarah's lj. I didn't add to the discussions though. My thoughts are a bit jumbled up on both topics.



Does life interrupt my writing? Yes. In ways I'm not willing to discuss. But I will discuss this. I have one child. She has issues. For the past two years, she has tested with an IQ of 90. This is not a good score. I have cried buckets of tears about it, written pages and pages in journals trying to release my anguish so I could gain some distance and do some real writing. I have given up hours, days, months, years of my time to work on her issues. I drive her to appointments, I work with her, I agonize over medical, educational and psych decisions. Am I doing the right thing? Is giving up my right to a life the right thing to do?

Because you see, I didn't ask for her to be this way. And yes, I have a right to my own life as an adult, to my own career. But I brought her into this world and it is my job, my responsibility, to make her the best human being she can be. It is not a choice to leave her on her own, to leave her to her own devices. That is not, in her case, in my mind, a choice. Some parents might disagree. Let her find her way, let her be less academic, they might say. She will be artistic and musical and wonderful in her own way, bright and shiny and happy. Maybe yes, maybe no.

So, because a child psychologist said that the brain is still plastic at her age and it can change drastically, I invested my time and money in her future. I spend time in her class every week so I can size up the other kids and help her develop her social skills. She can't remember names (neither can I) and she can't tell who will be a good friend. And I take her to her appts and I did floor play for a year to help her learn how to put her thoughts together logically and I fought the public system to get her qualified for help in speech. And so forth. For almost 3 years now. I quit my office job, gave up a six-figure salary, to reduce the family's stress, to spend time with her, to not place her in daycare, to give her the one on one attention no one else will. Because no one will ever care for her as much as her parents do.

Today, that Miracle. She tested at mid-year of first grade below the standard reading level. She was still at primer level. She's a year older than the rest of her class, so this was disheartening, but with the IQ scores, expected. It is no longer a smack in the face to find out she tested poorly. Now they are gearing up for testing at year end and were concerned about her scores. But because she's speech-qualified for special education, she is allowed 'accommodations' in her testing. They plan to test her both with and without these accommodations. First, they tested her with. And my darling tested with a 3rd grade reading level. You cannot imagine how I feel today. She has made great strides, but this is the first standardized indication of what I've always believed her true level was.

I love her and I'm so proud of her. And that's what I wanted to share in my blog today.

Frog Out

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
mindseas
May. 10th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
That's wonderful! I feel very happy for you. I'm sure you made the right decision. As a mother of two--my eldest working and my youngest going for his PhD--I see every hour I put into activites with my children as well-spent.
birdhousefrog
May. 10th, 2007 10:54 am (UTC)
Must be wonderful to see them going off and living their own lives now. Thanks for your thoughts.
michaeljasper
May. 10th, 2007 03:20 am (UTC)
Sweet -- great news, Oz. You did good -- both of ya!
birdhousefrog
May. 10th, 2007 10:57 am (UTC)
Thanks! And now that my theory that her comprehension is higher than the teachers thought is vindicated, I get to go through all my childrens' lit and start trying my favorite stories on her. Just this past week she's started pulling out books and reading them aloud to herself. Real kid lit, not just picture books or phonics readers. Hard to yell at her to get dressed (usually has to be reminded several times) if she's sitting on the floor with a book.
ex_triciasu
May. 10th, 2007 08:46 am (UTC)
Wow. You are amazing. I didn't know any of this about you or your daughter, but my heart swelled, reading this. Everything you've done has been vindicated--and I do understand the pressures to back off and leave children to their own devices, although these pressures have hit my family in different ways.

You must be exhausted a lot of the time. It sounds like it has been a fight. You have all my admiration.
birdhousefrog
May. 10th, 2007 10:53 am (UTC)
Means a lot to me to have you post that...it's not the same with one chick vs. three. You have quite a zoo. It's giving up writing and working time that hurt and then the guilt when I want it back. She's come so far, most people can't tell she has any issues at all. This year hasn't been as exhausting. Last year when she was in school for only 3 hours a day and had appts almost every day, it was exhausting, yes. My own fault because I had high expectations. So I was flying high yesterday.

Oz
birdhousefrog
May. 10th, 2007 11:09 am (UTC)
And PS, I can't complain. Many, many parents have children with far more serious issues than mine has. This was my personal rant/shout of joy.
ex_triciasu
May. 10th, 2007 12:49 pm (UTC)
It's a great thing to see.
sallytuppence
May. 10th, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful!

I hope you don't feel guilty when you take time for yourself--to write, read, or just think. It's probably just as good for her when you do as it is for you.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )