Pearls and Dreams
In the past week, I have had several reminders of just what it means to have a special needs child. Through observation, reading blogs, and parenting. All of the experiences bring a lump to my throat, but the parenting, brings a tear to my eye ... and challenges my faith, trust and forces me to step firmly down in both my faith in God as well as reality.
I have this son, he's an incredible kid.
He is funny, he is a joy to be around. He is absolutely a delight. He makes the whole room around him just lighten up when he walks in.
He gets along with everyone, kids, adults, even bullies don't pick on him. He is just everybody's friend
He struggles to learn. He is in special education classes and it is a real struggle for him. This year, in particular, he has had teachers who are looking at his personality and deciding that with those social skill should come better academic skills, and they are not meeting him where he needs to be met. I am tired, worn, frustrated and angry at having to deal with these people, but fight I will ... with the battle cry I've used for the 10 years I've had to deal with this districts special education department ... In every victory, let it be said of me, my source of stregnth, my source of hope, is Christ alone. I will fight to the death to get what my child needs, but i want to do it taking the high ground and with them never being surprised that I claim to be a Christian!
Even with the battles with the school, and knowing he struggles, I go into the psuedo denial of the severity of his problems. I kid myself as to how bad they really are. I see him interacting with other people, I know his spiritual acuity and I go into this stance that makes me think that all in all, it's all going to be ok. Part of me thinks, I'm supposed to ... I'm his mother, I'm supposed to see him this way. But then, when I come face to face with the scores, the testing ... the process ... the reality, it hurts, and it hurts for my son.
This week, Benjamin had to go through yet another evaluation, his eyes are not tracking right, so we had to find out how it's effecting his ability to read & process things. The things that he could not do, simple, easy things, that he couldn't do, and suddenly, I was flashing back to my very young child
When everything was so hard, and every step of progress had to be worked for at 10 times the effort that anyone else put into it.
I remembered why I don't like watching these evaluations ...
They hurt ..they remind me of the pain my son suffers and how hard things are for him. I so many times get to look past the scores, past the struggles, past the work and I get to see his smile in the midst of his work, and the joy on his face in the accomplishment, I hear his laughter as he learns something that he's worked forever trying to learn and that's what keeps me going and that's what drives this mom. It's the Smile that is who he is, it's the laughter that reveals his deep down heart, and what a wonderful child of God he is. In the grand scheme of things, that's what's important.
Weeks like this, force my feet into reality to look at the problems he has, and they break my heart ... and they hurt ... but in the long run ... I know that who he is ... is not the words he missed, not the scores he couldn't get, not the paper that says he's deficient ... deep down what matters is that wonderful delightful smile that lights my life and everyone he touches. A week like this in January of 2000, also, following testing that forced me to see some reality, inspired the following poem ... it is still true ...
A Mother's Heart
by Peggikaye Eagler
Every mother had Dreams,
Of a Child perfect and whole.
Every mother has Hopes,
For perfection, body and soul.
They told me you’re not perfect,
Sweet loving child of mine.
They told me that your learning,
Is taking too much time.
They tell me that your tests came back,
Showing problems and low scores.
They tell me that you have to struggle,
This hurts me to the core.
Every mother has dreams,
They tell me you don’t fit.
Every mother has hopes,
They say perfection you won’t hit.
But they don’t see what I see,
The smile that lights your face.
But they don’t hear what I hear,
Your laughter reveals God’s grace.
They don’t see what I see,
My child loving and whole.
I have hopes and dreams,
Because my child you are a gift from God
And you have a PERFECT SOUL.
© Peggikaye Eagler