The ring of our home phone pulled me away from what I was working on. I grumbled as I looked at the call display thinking that I would have to head to school to pick up a sick child – my solitary work time done for the day.
My daughter’s senior kindergarten teacher was on the line, but she wasn’t asking me to pick Lily up. Instead she was telling me, obviously very excited, how incredible the improvement that she’s seeing in Lily and her ability to recognize letters.
Happiness exploded from my every pore.
Lily has worked so hard through her speech delay and subsequent difficulties with letters – I can’t put into words the pride I felt talking to her teacher.
After school, the kids and I were playing in the backyard. Lily went into the house while I gave Jack one last spin on the snow-covered swing. He made a big-brother-seven-year-old-boy comment about how he could beat Lily in a fight. I smiled knowing that Lily would be able to hold her own in his imaginary fight. Still smiling, I leaned down and kissed his nose. Nodding towards the house I quietly said, “Don’t dismiss your sister. You should never dismiss anyone but it would be a big mistake to dismiss that little girl in there.” It was obvious from his expression that he didn’t understand and didn’t want to discuss it any further. And, I knew he wouldn’t grasp that my words had nothing to do with his being physically stronger.
Maybe it’s because I felt the sting each time someone tried to force words from Lily that she wasn’t able to say yet. I would deflate with her as I watched her withdraw, not wanting to try for fear of getting it wrong again. I held my breath when someone said ‘huh, you can actually see her personality now that she’s talking a little’ when Lily was more than three years old. Maybe it’s all of these things that made me want to scream from the rooftop, ‘do not dismiss my kid!’ after a five minute phone call with her teacher.
Don’t dismiss anyone – each one of us is capable of boundless amounts of awesome.
I have a hard time getting through this video without getting a lump in my throat – this two-minute clip illustrates the vast capacity for awesome we all have.