Saturday, October 25, 2014

Choosing a Path

I am over due for a Lily update. Now that she is nine (or as she would insist 9 and 3/4), I have told her she can decide what I do and do not share here. I want to keep those who love her informed and just maybe offer hope for other parents in our boat. However, I don't want to violate her privacy. Yes, we have a plan to help her with her ADHD and anxiety. No, she doesn't want me to tell you what it is.

She is doing well. We had some small victories this week which made my heart soar! The first one being: she read a book, with chapters, without pictures, voluntarily! The second being: I finally seem to have found a way to get her to sleep on her own and mostly stay asleep (it involves the hall light on and reading a chapter of Little House in the Big Woods and snuggling with the dog). It is still hard for her to stay down all night, every night. Much like both of her parents (it is 4:38 am as I write this) she seems to suffer from hypo-insomnia. Of course these are not typical things to be excited about when you have a child her age, unless she is Lily. I have shared with those who love her and are invested in her progress.

She has been particularly saucy and surly this week. It seems to be stemming from stress and frustration at school. It sounds like she is spending a great deal of time on the computer doing state test prep. My feeling is: how can she fill in the gaps she has just by taking practice tests? She needs direct instruction and remediation. She also needs to be engaged with hands on and creative learning activities. I had an upsetting conversation with her teacher last night. Her teacher feels a great deal of pressure to get her students to pass the state tests. I could care less about the state tests, as long as my girls are learning. Rob, as usual, has been awesome. We are going to meet with her teacher and come up with the best way for Lily to learn. We will do whatever it takes. We will be polite, but assertive. She has two years left in elementary school. This is her last chance to remediate the skills we didn't know she'd missed until last year. There is not a moment to waste.

This all sound like it went down so calmly. No, there were lots of tears on my part after I hung up with the teacher. Three thoughts charged through my mind: the teacher feels my child is a burden, is there any place for her in the public school system, and I really wish I could talk to my mom about this. I talked to Rob and he helped. I love this stage of marriage. We are problem solving partners! Maybe we need super hero capes. I also talked with my close friends at work. I have processed enough now to go on to the next step without being overly emotional.

I realize how difficult things can be for Lily. I am also fully aware of how she makes them even more difficult through her actions and reactions. I am not making excuses. There is an entire team of people working to support her and give her the strategies to succeed. Her success will look different than what we first envisioned. We have to just wait and see. I do know that she will find a path and Rob and I will be there cheering her on as she sets off down it (knowing Lily it could be climbing over, around, and on top of that path).

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