Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I love books. It's true, besides alcohol I can say books are another addiction of mine. I am pretty sure I came out of the womb reading because I can't remember a time when I couldn't. I'm like some wired nutcase in a bookstore. I love the colors, the titles, the shapes. Good thing I never seem to have a lot of extra money or I would go wild and keep buying books.

To counter my ever growing library my husband and oldest child thought a Nook Tablet would be a great place for me to store my books. However it just gave me another resource for reading and I am often reading one physical book and one Nook book at the same time. So imagine my utter devestation when I found out our oldest child had Dyslexia. I remember being so confused that the child could draw, and create, and build enormous Lego creations but couldn't read simple books.

He struggled for years, we took out a loan and sent him for special tutoring. It wasn't until he was in the sixth grade and a teacher told us that he spelled phonetically that we began to sense there was something else going on. Sure enough, he had Dyslexia. He was missing an entire area of "bank words". Words that all of us know and tuck away. His grades and self-esteem were struggling. He had to see a psychiatrist. I was devestated. How could my child not have my love of the written word?

(Are you catching all the I's?) Well he had a lot more tutoring after that and today he is planning to go to college. He's taking AP courses, could have graduated a semester early and has a 3.9 GPA. In other words he's just fine. So it shouldn't have come as a surprise that his younger brother and sister would also struggle with the same learning disability. Our middle son has just a touch but with regular tutoring he stays on track. Our daughter is a different story.

She has some ADD along with her Dyslexia. But where her older brother could grasp and move on, she works at a much different place. This made me frustrated. She gets tutored a lot. Like five days a week. Her progress at times is very slow. And then in the next breath, she's brilliant. A puzzle for sure. So a few days ago I headed to a conference with her reading specialist. I knew what to expect, I knew what was going to be said, part of me didn't even want to go. But as usual my HP has bigger plans than me. I went, I shut my mouth, and I listened. I came away for once wondering what I could do. Really do....

The answer came in a book I am currently reading. "Unwasted" by Sacha Scoblic is a great book about one woman's journey into sobriety. The author is funny, candid, and not afraid of the truth. And truth is just what she handed me. She was talking about trading one addiction for another. Something I know I'm partial to. Hers was spending instead of drinking. How did she finally kick this habit? By realizing that she wasn't entitled to a lifestyle she thought she was, and she started to accept the life she had.

Bingo! At that moment my whole thought process shifted. I had been so wrapped up in what I thought I was entitled to. A lifestyle without issues, good children with great grades, high achievers, kids that didn't need tutoring, and on and on. How humbling to realize that it wasn't about me. It's about them. My role is to throw out what I thought I was entitled to and to start focusing on what was in the here and now.

Since then I've stepped up to the plate. I've started researching what I can do to help her learn the way she needs to learn. I work with her an extra hour each night. The progress is slow but she's doing fine. She needs me to give her every tool to succeed. I can do that by setting my agenda down. I'm not entitled to a perfect life. I have been given the ability to help her succeed, and I need to use that to be there for her.

I needed this lesson. By laying down what I thought I was entitled to I was able to focus on what I've been given. Which are wonderfully, talented, creative, beautiful children who simply learn differently than others. I needed a dose of humility, and I found it in a book about recovery. How awesome is that.....(like I needed another reason to buy more books ;-)


  1. Love this!!
    A while back I wrote about why I love books. Last Christmas everyone was getting Nooks in the family; I got wind of this and sent out a blanket email asking that I please DO NOT receive this gift.. No, I have to hold, feel, smell, see the book in its entirety -

    Love too, your discovery about your children!

    1. nice...i love books too...probably a little addiction there for me...smiles...some cool insights you gleaned from this one too...on entitlement...thanks for sharing that ah ha moment as i can def get that way as well....

  2. What I've been given is frequently far removed from what I thought I wanted. And far better!

  3. This is such a fantastic post and I can so relate. With children with developmental disablities, I felt like I had to do something. Wait, not just something, EVERYTHING. I had to fight, push, research, pay, go, stay, chase tail. And then I learned that I needed to accept. I had to surrender. No, I didn't have to just do nothing, but I had to apply the serenity prayer to the whole thing and really decide what I could and couldn't accomplish, what the kids needed from me and didn't need from me and what was really important. I also had to try to discover and accept what was meant to be, wait for more to be revealed and to stop the madness.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  4. Thanks for writing about this. I think that the cookie cutter vision of parents, spouses, kids sells everyone short. Glad that you can step out of the boxed in vision and see them for how unique and beautiful they are.