Tough To Watch…

She forgot to bring her homework from school, again?  What do you mean she can’t find it?  Where did she leave it?  Where has she gone to now?  She’s supposed to be looking for it?  Why is she doing her hair now?  No, I don’t know where your American Girl doll is…Why aren’t you looking for the paper?  You did what with the scissors?  You colored all over the math sheet?  Well yes, it is a pretty, but…

This record plays endlessly in our home.  My youngest has a bad case of focus, or lack there of.  Before everyone plays doctor and details her malady with a series of letters, hold on, her mom and I aren’t just giving in and medicating her.  We are going to look for alternative approaches so my little girl doesn’t become a freckle faced zombie with fabulous red hair.  She has way too much life to diminish her precious, ever-charging mind with the burden of trying to be like everyone else.  She has too much creativity to stifle her ongoing expression.  She is my baby girl and we are determined to shape her individuality positively and not recreate her into a clone image of complete conformity and agreement.

I find myself stealing moments of sadness, alone, knowing the struggle that awaits a creative child in a society that demands acceptance and perfectly groomed behavior.  Without much effort I’m transported back to my youth when similar experiences were all I seemed to encounter.  I too was unable to ever be organized.  I too was always overwhelmed with multiple projects and assignments.  I recall trying ever so hard to listen to the teacher and for a few moments actually being faithful with my complete attention, but soon everything else possible began to yell my name.  Didn’t Tommy wear that same shirt two days ago?  How come Jan ties her shoes like that?  Wonder what Freddy’s dog is doing right now?  Look at that bug flying by the window?  Why does my Grandfather deal cards with his left hand when he bowls with his right?  The teacher seems to be talking directly to me but for some strange reason I don’t understand what she’s saying.  I’m looking right at her, watching her mouth move but something just isn’t registering.  I suddenly feel a jar for the boy next to me and instantly I’m brought back to the present reality.  Not only do I not know the answer to the question she is asking, I don’t even know what question she just asked.  There is only one thing to do in a situation like this; it’s what seems to be needed the most…Entertainment!  Ladies and gentleman please give a warm welcome to today’s featured performer…And off I would go.

Knowing this fight awaits her and little that can be done to prevent its occurrence leaves a parent most disheartened.  Is this an educational problem?  Somewhat.  Is this her personal problem, Somewhat.  Our school system is designed to teach children a certain way and those who learn differently are faced with great challenges.  Certainly I appreciate that educating the masses requires a formula that children must ascribe to and follow for the greatest percentage of successful completions.  But what do we do with these others?  If the system forces these free thinkers and non-conformists to have the rough edges knocked off, what then?  What becomes of the future poets, artists, and dreamers?  Everyone doesn’t need to be a banker, economist, accountant or realtor.

Having a mind that is wired to work contrary to the norm is a gift that needs to be nurtured and encouraged.  It’s neither a bad thing nor something to be thought of as negative in any way. I’m not going to fight that part at all.  But I do have a responsibility to my daughter to find a channel to best use her talents in a manner that allow her success in the classroom.  She loves to get lost in books and disappear into the wild blue imagination of an adventurous story.  She loves to write about anything and everything.  She loves to express herself and unleash her thinking mind and let her imagination soar.  This is the magic of life, watching her become and achieve through literature, others and hers.

So her mommy and I have a significant job before us.  We must help her use her uniqueness and individuality to meet success in these other areas where her mind fights her and demands attention elsewhere.  It will take a tremendous amount of muster and determination to stay the course and help her proceed.  I feel as parents we must not let her loose herself to the system but find ways to paint just a little outside the lines to make the picture more special with her in it.  There must be a way to make this a fit.

Pray for us.  Encourage us.  Walk beside us and strengthen us.  Together this butterfly will emerge and touch flowers throughout the entire valley. 

Fight for the heart of the poet.



  1. Expressmom said,

    October 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    “Pray for us. Encourage us. Walk beside us and strengthen us……”

    I do recognize that at no point did you write: Please advise us.
    But, I can’t restrain myself! LOL!

    This focus issue is like her brain has extra energy. The good news is that expending physical energy will also diffuse some of the excess brain energy. Much in the way if you’ve ever had a really bad flu, and you feel so worn out you can’t even read a book.

    As soon as she came home today & said, “I lost my homework.” I would make her do 20 jumping jacks and then go look for it. When I saw her playing dolls instead of looking for it, I’d have her run upstairs and back down again & then start the search again. (Not like punishment at boot camp, just once up and down to settle all that bouncing energy in her brain.) (& not to curtail her inner artist, only as a technique when she NEEDS to focus.)

    And if anyone at your house is into fitness, this little one would become the before school jogging companion! Getting out some extra energy BEFORE school might be just the ‘miracle’ cure you are looking for!

    Good luck!

    • peacetrain5 said,

      October 13, 2010 at 6:01 pm

      I appreciate your comments. As we learn more about this, your suggestions find others who agree with your approach.

  2. Mom said,

    October 12, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    We have walked this path. You are stronger than I was. She will smell the flowers.

  3. michayla said,

    March 2, 2011 at 9:07 am

    yay im the star of the blog…..wait is that a good thing??

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