Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Today my ten year old daughter is doing something with her fifth grade class that is incredibly challenging for her. In helping her get to this place, I realize how often as an adult I allow myself the freedom to skip things that seem just too hard. While of course she knows that she doesn't have to face today's adventure if it's really too much for her, the way it's been framed is that she will do it. In order not to, she'll have to use the mommy-rescue-me escape hatch.
Because of her anxiety disorder and other cognitive disabilities, those of us who care for her are always aware of her challenges. Everyday there are little things in the path that most of us wouldn't even notice. For my daughter they are major obstacles. The courage that she possesses to face each day is amazing. On days like today where she is being asked to manage all of her everyday challenges, and so much more, I am able to recognize her enormous strength, how brave she really is.
On her very first day of kindergarten, years ago, she got on the school bus just like a big kid. The bus drove about twenty feet, then stopped. I said to the crowd of parents that I knew it was my daughter that caused the stop. Sure enough, she was in tears. I got on the bus and tried to convince her that she would be okay, but she didn't want to let me go. Luckily, her godfather had come to see her off that morning, too (he also took this picture of her!). He got on the bus, and by that time, the kindergartner sitting next to my daughter had begun to cry, too. So her godfather told my daughter that she had to go to school and she had to help this little boy get to school, too. And it worked. He and I got off the bus, and they drove away. I later found out that most of the kindergartner parents, including the mom of the little boy, had followed the bus to school in their cars, for a second goodbye to their kids, safe at school. I had a home daycare at the time and didn't even think of the possibility of being there at school that morning. So my daughter, scared enough to stop the school bus, managed to make it all the way through her first day of school, including another bus ride home, without her mommy by her side. Until recently, when I've thought of that story, I've focused on how scared she was to leave me. Now I see that she has always had this incredible strength and courage.
I am so proud of her and so inspired.
What challenges will you face today that seem like they're just too hard?