My son has struggled with reading and writing for a few years now. It’s been really hard to watch. I’ve been frustrated for him because it’s stuff that has always come easily to me and I always hoped he would have a similar experience. I don’t think any parent wants to watch their kid have to do everything the hard way. I know that strength is forged in adversity, but I think it’s only natural to hope your kid will have things easy.
He didn’t have it easy, but he didn’t have to do it alone. We have been so fortunate to have supportive staff at his school who have given him lots of opportunities for extra support. Success started to come in dribs and drabs. I remember the first time he brought an exemplary spelling test home with him. He took a magnet down and used it to hold his successful completion to the fridge. He was so proud. I was really proud too.
After all, he has been working so hard. He has been doing everything he can to learn and succeed. It has been such a joy to watch him persevere. He’s my little engine that could and I’ve been observing him chug-a-chug-chugging along. It felt like he was beginning to turn a corner when we were cleaning up his room.
Sifting through his belongings, he declared the majority of the picture books to be too young for him, forsaking them in favour of chapter books. He described his newfound love of reading, “It’s like being stuck like glue once you start!” Whenever he finished a book he got that homesick look that I remember from my own childhood and, truthfully, my adulthood.
This feeling of turning a corner was confirmed when he went on a field trip. At pickup time, his teacher told me he is finally reading at level. His writing was improving by leaps and bounds too. Maybe he won’t even need extra help much longer. To top it all off, my little boy who never cared for school declared he had selected the university he wanted to go to. UNIVERSITY. Once upon a time I worried that would never be a thought in his mind.
Looking up at that first spelling test on the fridge, I’m so thankful for all his hard work finally paying off, even if it first came in dribs and drabs. I really couldn’t be prouder. It didn’t come easy. He might have struggled with reading and writing, but he’s turned a page and started a new adventure. It might have come about the hard way, but this story has a happy ending.