In college I was a part of a reading program that helped at-risk students. We were required to pick out a book to read together once a week; the idea was to work on reading fluency, comprehension, etc. I remember going to the local bookstore and picking up C.S Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew. As I flipped through the pages of the book, I imagined what it would be like to introduce the beauty Narnia to my own children. In that moment, I began dreaming of what being a mother of an elementary aged reader would be like--magical.
The most misleading part of motherhood is the dream of motherhood-- turning dreams into expectations. In my fantasies, I pictured myself curled up with my children, delving into adventures and relationships with books in a way that I experienced as a child. In all of my time spent imagining the future, I failed to factor in the actual journey. Would we struggle with processing? Would we feel frustrated with the process of learning? Abandoning my own plan and embracing the journey is a type of vulnerability that not only forces me to see the beauty of the REAL in my own family but also appreciate how hard won each sight word victory is for my hardworking son.
As a special ed teacher, I never dreamed of being on the parental side of a learning disability. But here I sit— I am on the other side of the table, and I feel vulnerable. I am educated and prepared to help children in this position, but I find myself in my own brain stutter. I want to step in and fix it for my son, but this is something he has to do for himself. He is wonderfully and perfectly made; I can only give him the tools and watch him grow. At this very moment, reading is our challenge. It hasn’t come with the ease I dreamed of all those years ago. As with any new adventure, I know there will be frustration, laughter, and tears from us both. As his mother I FEEL his frustration and anxieties, and I wear them on my shoulders like they are my own. Fear and doubt is a funny beast; it suffocates and keeps us from our truest potential, but that’s not going to happen here because we are striving for progress, not perfection. We can do hard things when we put forth time and effort and don't compare ourselves to others. Out of our mistakes and frustrations there is growth, IF we acknowledge it. I make no promises that this is going to be easy, but I know that he is brave and can do hard things.
I see our destination sitting on the bookshelf.. .into the woods we must go. The way may not be clear, but we’ll reach a magical destination together.
Welcome to Artifact Motherhood. This is a collaboration of artists from around the world who have come together to share our stories of the joys and struggles of our journey. Through our writings and visual records we want to create memories that are more than photographs with dates written on the back. These are the artifacts we are leaving behind for our children and for generations to come. Up next is the amazingly talented Diana Hagues click here to follow the link.
You can also read more about Artifact Motherhood by clicking here.