I have this little game I play with myself when things aren’t going as I had hoped. I force perspective on myself. I try to take myself out of my sadness, disappointment, and frustration by imagining something worse than what I am going through. For example, say I’ve got a bad cold and I’m feeling particularly whiny about it. I will take a minute to think about how much worse things could be. I could be stricken with a life threatening illness or dying of starvation somewhere. But, I’m not. It’s just a cold. I will be fine. Somehow, thinking of the worst makes the actual seem not so bad by comparison.
For the past three weeks, we’ve had our youngest son spending his Saturday mornings with a school psychologist doing some testing for a possible learning disability. Luke’s reading and spelling have gone downhill in the past year. Things we swore he knew are suddenly missing from his brain. Having gone through similar issues with our other son, we were quick to jump on it this time around. After six hours of testing and several question and answer sessions with the psychologist, we received some news this afternoon. She noticed that Luke has gaps in his early reading skills. She suggested he needs intensive tutoring to fill in these gaps. If the tutoring doesn’t work, he may be dyslexic. She also thinks he might have ADHD like his brother. She can’t make that diagnosis, but it will be mentioned in her report.
It’s not what I hoped, but it’s not the worst I could have found out. For weeks I’ve been anxious about what she would tell us. I tried to prepare myself for whatever she could say. I have to admit that when Luke started struggling in school like Joe did, I cried a bit. I imagined going through with him what I already go through with Joe. I thought that there was no way I would be able to deal with another child with learning issues. I already work so hard to help the one. How would I find the time, the patience, the energy, and the strength to do it with another child? The thought stressed me out. Luke was supposed to be my easy child. I didn’t want this. I wasn’t sure I could handle it. Then, I thought about all the worse things that could be. I thought that they could have been born with greater defects than learning issues. They could be ill. Worse yet, they could not be here with us at all.
It won’t be easy helping two of them through whatever they face, but no one said parenting would be easy. So tonight, instead of being depressed about the outcome of the tests, I’m just grateful that I have such wonderful boys. They’re bright, funny, sensitive, and sweet. They’re going to struggle in school. So what? We’ll do our best to help them through it. They may never make honor roll or become class valedictorian. It doesn’t matter. We’ll just stick together and do our best. The rest will work itself out with time.