Saturday, July 9, 2011

Freeze-Frame Moment

My highlight from the week...giggling over a Mo Willems book with my monkeys!

As mentioned in previous posts, Taylor Beth has been learning to read this year (sadly without said porch swing for the time being...Daddy has plans to build us a frame soon seeing as we have no front porch).  It has not been an easy thing...for her or me.  Certainly no bed of roses.  It has been work.  Good work, worthy work, but work just the same.

I have found that this one thing has threatened to define my parenting day after day.  I hear the whisper (you know that whisper...the phantom you that likes to remind you of all the things you wish you were doing or at least doing better) telling me that it will be all my fault if she doesn't love and learn reading by the time she is 6.  And if she doesn't learn it by 6 then she is doomed to be behind forever.  And if she's behind then she will never discover that thing that she wants to do or be in life that will define who she is.  You know the train of thought.  The downward spiral of despair that causes blood pressure to rise and acid reflux to set in.  Crazy, I know.  Certainly faithless.  And most certainly self-focused.  Or better yet, self-consumed.

Every insecurity ever felt in my decision to do kindergarten at home this year pinnacles in this one thing...learning to read.  I know the truth... that 1)  every child learns to read at their own pace.  Yes, my child needs a little push.  That is just her unique make-up.  No bearing on how proficient a reader she will one day be.  And 2)  God is doing a special work in her heart as well as mine through this process.  Her story is hers.  My role is to love her enough to keep pushing when she needs a push, but to show compassion and empathy enough to know when she is approaching frustration and backing off.  Encouraging.  Being her #1 cheerleader.  

But knowing the truth doesn't always keep us from listening to the lies.  My faith walk for today is believing that God's plan for my daughter is not dependent on my excellence as a teacher.  Now that's a good word.

Truth be told, she is getting it!  And then the culmination of it all this week on the couch in our living room.  She was reading An Elephant and Pig book by Mo Willem, "I Am Going" and not only was she plowing through it,  she was enjoying it!  (It really is quite funny.)  I was enjoying watching her enjoying it and enjoying it genuinely myself.  By the climax of the story we were all three laughing out loud at Elephant's ridiculous antics (which ironically remind me of my own ridiculousness over my child's reading adventure).  And I saw something click with her.

She was compelled to read.  Without prompting.  Without pushing.  Sheer joy.  For her.  And me.

Thank you Mo Willems for giving us this moment.

How great it is to have a Father who is committed to Taylor Beth's story and her joy more than her own Momma.  And one who will remind me of the truth when I am listening to the lies.


ALM said...

Joy I hated reading when I was a kid...hated it, loathed it, couldn't fathom why anyone would want to spend their time within the pages of a book. Now, it is a completely different story. There isn't much I'd rather do. Don't lose heart.

ALM said...

oh, this is Lauren by the way. I just noticed my handle doesn't give away who I am!

joyknight said...

I would know those feet anywhere!