This one is for the parents of the kids who don’t fit the mold.
I see you holding your kid together with nothing but love and a prayer as they cry or feel defeated and you wish the world would see your kid like you do.
I see you wiping away their tears after they were yet again passed over for all the awards and accolades. There is no award for showing up for school despite crippling anxiety or remembering to write down assignments for the first year ever. So they had to sit clapping again for friends whose accomplishments are so visible and easy to understand.
They are happy for these friends and yet still wonder when it will be their turn.
I see you wishing the world would get for just a few minutes that your kid is working hard, too. Maybe harder sometimes than the kids getting all As and or all-around best student.
That the world would see your kids aren’t lazy or unfocused or trying to be frustrating, they simply had the bad luck to be born into a system not designed for their brains.
I see you working so hard to drown out the noise of the world that seems to send the message again and again that your child just doesn’t measure up.
And yet you just keep propping your babies up again and again. Letting them know they are loved and cherished and their gifts matter.
But you might need a little propping, too.
I see you crying tears of sadness and frustration when you are alone, I know you might even say a few well-placed swear words if only to the wall in your room.
These occasions are why God invented swear words I think.
You are doing God’s work and your kids need you in a very special way, they need you to listen to their hearts and help them keep going.
They need you to teach them the word resilient and to explain what it means to persevere.
I know it’s not easy and it’s okay to cry and rage and wish for a better world.
But I believe that we can change this world and that our kids will change it too if we keep believing in them.
Today I’m sending you a big hug and cheering you on. I’m cheering your kids on.
I am here for every barely passing kid who somehow got in all their assignments through many hours at the kitchen table and sheer force of will. And those who didn’t but learned something anyway. Next year might be their year so a “here’s to the future” award may be in order.
I’m here for every kid who will never be called up to be presented with a piece of paper that says they’re somehow great. I want your kid to know they are great even if it’s not handed to them and clapped for, Remind them they have just the gifts they need and God sees them.
Please hand that kid an award from me for learning to remember their gym shoes or finally getting those multiplication facts or for just staying in class for the whole darn hour or whatever was so hard for them that the world said should be easy.
I am here for you as you parent for the long haul. I know your heart is aching but I also know it is full of love. I see you. You are making a difference.
Don’t you dare let the world convince you or them otherwise.