I’m tired already and it’s only been a week. A week since I walked into my child’s school, met with his teacher, another teacher, and the principal. A week since I asked, “Why aren’t you seeing that my 4th grader has dyslexia?” and was met with the response that they “didn’t see any indications of it.” I wore my poker face as best I could when they said, “Nope, I haven’t noticed anything unusual.” I looked at his teacher, who’d marked up his paper (with the b’s and d’s still backward) at the bottom in perfect red penmanship, “You need to try harder.” 

I sat back and realized what I was up against. You see for years, we have fought this. We have brought it up and said at the very least, it was a writing issue. Now, we’d moved from younger grades where the teachers acknowledged it but said he’d outgrow it (by the way… they don’t “outgrow” it), to an older grade where teachers and school leadership not only don’t acknowledge it, but assume a child is simply lazy until there’s documented medical proof. 

And that’s a problem for me. 

Because I see.  

It’s not just backward letters. I see when he starts a paragraph and the first sentence is legible but by the third sentence in, it looks like hieroglyphics. I see the weariness in his eyes when he’s tired of trying so hard to do his homework. I see the doubt in his eyes when he wonders why his twin sister zips through her homework without even trying. I see his self-confidence drop when that paper he spent HOURS on is returned with a big fat red-inked “C” on it because he just couldn’t get what was in his head on paper. And I hear the sadness in his voice when he says, “I’ll try harder tomorrow, mama.” 

Oh, the things I would fix for him if I could. 

This week has been exhaustingly full. 

Full of research - if not this school, God, which one? If not this TOWN, Lord, which one, because we’ll go. And we would. 

Full of scheduling tests three hours away because the closest test - closer by a mere hour - costs four times as much. Tests that we have to pay for before the school will even acknowledge… Because without outside tests results, a dyslexic child is simply “not trying hard enough.” 

Full of half-truths, hearing the school district say one thing, and reading the state law that says something else.

And then there’s my sweet boy. Who didn’t ask for any of it. He simply wants to enjoy going to school. 

So here’s what we do. As mamas, we take on that burden and we put on that armor in preparation for tough battles. With our sword and our shield, we begin slaying our dragons - scheduling tests, finding the money to pay out of pocket, standing up to the school districts that say one thing when state law says another. We gather our proof and we stand our ground and we move across the country if we have to, because God gave these littles to us and They’re.Worth.Fighting.For.

And in the meantime, when their eyes look to us for guidance, shield and sword still in hand, we shine. But we don’t shine for the dragons, or the school districts, or the doctors. We shine in the one place that needs it the most. {IN.} We shine in.

Into the hearts of our children as we whisper the things no one else is whispering. 

I believe in you.

I know you’re trying. 

Hang in there kiddo, I’ve got you. 

We shine in to the places that others walk away from. We breathe hope into the babies that doctors say won’t have a chance. We speak love fiercely into the places that others write off all too quickly, because in our heart of hearts, we know they can. They see us believing in them and they pick up and try that much harder. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all need? Someone who believes in us. Someone who loves us. Someone by our side, to shine in.

 

XOXO,

Karen

SHINEBlog Editor