Today I bought a book that was recommended to me. This quote is THE reason I bought it...
"All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent parents should accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves."
My child, Derick, is struggling to the millionth degree and today we have a parent/teacher meeting so I can present the school with my son's psychological testing results. He's different that most kids. He's likely different than your kid and he's different my youngest kid and he's just different and I love this about him but I also really, really struggle with his differentness.
He thinks different than almost anyone I know and he makes me see the world in a different light. I feel in awe of his thought process often and, I won't lie, sometimes it makes me absolutely crazy that I formed this person who's just so different and WHY CAN'T WE SEE EYE TO EYE?!
I realize that's not a unique issue with teenage kids. What's unique with Derick is that he's just not doing well. He's in 10th grade for the 3rd time, he's actually supposed to graduate this year but it's definitely not happening. He's been diagnosed with a learning disability (again) along with depression and a few other things. He was diagnosed with a learning disability years ago but the school un-diagnosed him which I'm still confused about but there you have it.
I feel, too often, that I failed him. I can make a very long list of ways I think I failed Derick and what I should have done but didn't. Oh, parent guilt, it's awful, isn't it? But here we are and I can't go backward so we're looking forward and I'm putting together a team of people to help Derick keep thinking differently but also to think in a way that he can graduate high school. I fear changing him too much so he's not himself but I also fear not changing him enough so that he can't be successful. Where's the line that's drawn on those two? How do you reconcile normal and not normal and different and not different? These are my daily questions.
Reading a book isn't going to make the problem go away but maybe it can help me be a better mom to my different kid? Maybe. I just don't know and that not knowing is so hard, really hard. So. Here we are, moving forward and doing our best and fighting for my kid because he deserves to have people fight for him even when he can't fight for himself.