What if… by Jennifer P Williams
Second grade was a hard school year for my girl. She had to deal with a teacher she didn’t mesh with, learning that someone she thought was a friend really wasn’t, and slipping grades that took her firmly off the A-B honor roll. By the end of the year, the girl whose momma preaches about raising strong daughters and having a healthy self-esteem wasn’t even close to either of those. She was being crushed under a weight of self-doubt. I was worried.
When we received her dyslexia diagnosis two months before the school year ended, I felt like we had been handed a reprieve, but I knew that it was going to be a lot of work to rebuild her confidence. Until I could get her to believe in herself, it didn’t matter what diagnosis she received. What if learning she had dyslexia wasn’t enough? I worried some more.
Over the summer we boosted, pushed, and prodded. I lost count of how many times I said, “I believe in you” and “I know you can do this.” She attended tutoring, and we selected teachers based on her needs. We kicked off the school year with a positive plan of action. But still… I was worried.
The night of open house I could feel the trepidation clawing at me. She loves both of her teachers. I could see a light starting to spark in her eyes again. I could tell she was trying so hard at home. I want this to be a great year for her so bad because I know she needs this to be a great year. But the worry wouldn’t let go of me.
When we got to her classroom she danced over to her desk. “Momma! Come look!” Her work was all laid out for us to see. Right on top was a story she had written. The teacher had given them the prompt, “the most important day”. She wrote about the day she was born. It was a great story. And I’m not saying that as her mother. I’m saying that as a writer. I saw the potential flowing through her prose. My tears washed the worries away.
This week she brought me a permission slip for U.I.L. “Mom I really want to try out for oral reading. Can I please, please, please?”
“Reading? Really? Are you sure?” Thoughts of her failing swirled through my mind. Why did she want to do this? What if she messed up when she was reading out loud? What if she got embarrassed? What if she didn’t make the team? What if this crushed her spirit? What if this destroyed the self-confidence she had rebuilt?
“Really mom. I want to try.”
That last word pierced the bubble of worry that had started to form. Try. She wanted to try. Last year that word would not have even entered her mind. But this year? This year she believes in herself enough to try.
I picked up my pen and signed the permission slip. Because you never know. What if…
Jennifer wrote this post to support Stand Up for Girls Day. Click here to see how you can join in!
ABOUT JENNIFER: Jennifer is a wife and working mom of two. She spends her days working as an auditor, and her nights writing about life and parenting on her eponymous blog, Jennifer P. Williams. The two favorite compliments she has received about her writing is that it is honest and real, but she delivers it all with a sass and grace indicative of her down-home Texas style.
CONTINUE READING IN THE FAMILY ROOM