Sunday, October 9, 2011

Looking towards heaven...

This weekend was difficult for me.

Would being a stay-at-home mother benefit the life of my children?

Yes. But those are not the cards I have to play. I'm so fortunate to have a wonderful job that provides for my family.  That provides satisfaction and a sense of contribution to society.  But at what cost to my girlies?

A teacher conference on a Friday afternoon sent me reeling.  Overwhelmed me.  I was expecting raving reviews of how wonderful and smart and attentive my baby girl is.  And I got those raves, along with a cold dose of reality.  My baby girl needs some special attention. They call it Tier 2.  Nowhere near remedial, but not progressing at a "normal" pace either.  She reads at the correct level, so well that we didn't realize she isn't comprehending what she's reading.  Maybe she's daydreaming while reading... that's my hope. I'm a day dreamer too.

But she can't explain the story line.  Can't explain in her own words what is happening in the story.  We'll go back to picture books, because the pictures will help her understand the story.  We'll still read chapter books, but review what happens on each page.  We'll read to her, see if that helps her pay attention to the story. No more independent reading for a while.

Mathematics.  No comprehension there either.  She will participate in classroom lessons.  Then she will be put in a smaller group and learn the lessons from a second teacher.  Hopefully learning the lesson from two different teaching styles will help comprehension.

Her spelling and vocabulary are excellent. Memorization is a breeze for Caitlin.  She is so smart, no doubt about that.  We just need to adjust to her learning process.

My fear is that I am not a teacher.  I don't think that way.  So I can read with my daughter and ask her questions to see if she is comprehending.

I can run math quizzes (actually I'm giving this to hubby.)

But I'll need to add a tutor if the problem is not solved with these changes.  Someone who is trained in teaching and recognizing student issues.

Sadly, and I am so embarrassed to admit this, my first reaction to this conference was "I can't add anything else to my plate." This is too overwhelming.  Losing weight, improving at work, staying alive, bringing God into my children's life, healthy eating, adequate sleep, putting effort into my marriage, staying connected to my teenager, improving my self esteem... these are in no particular order... and no more than everyone else needs to deal with... but on Friday, adding learning challenges seemed impossible.

So I melted down.  I sent a text to my sisters and mother... emergency contact only, call Michael, I'm offline. I didn't want to talk about it... I wanted to hide from it.

And so I've looked to God.

(my visual representation of looking to God)

I'm asking God to help me. And he has.  We've started a new reading regime with Caitlin.  It will bring us closer.  It will be my current priority.  The rest I'll leave for God to hold for me, until I am strong enough, because He is strong and watching out for me. He "has my back" as the phrase goes... And my front, side, top, bottom and soul.

We should always be improving ourselves... so I already have a list to last my lifetime.  And more will crop up... and I'll re-prioritize.

So when you find yourself wondering why someone is fat, or eating out, or disorganize, or always late... there are so many things we find wrong with others and judge... just remember that they may have a list... and are just dealing with what they can, at that time... and hopefully trusting in God to keep the to keep the other balls in the air.

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