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The World I Want

IMG_8418I’ve been thinking about the world I want for my daughter.

Schuyler has been making her transition to high school without any horrific trauma. I think she’s peeking into the world of adulthood and trying to see which parts she likes. She’s immature for her age, sometimes wildly so, which is fine. Her development has never been consistently linear, and she makes significant progress but with a trajectory less like a bee and more like a moth.

As hard as it has been for me, I’ve been trying hard to sit back and watch what she makes of her world. Less help, less interference. I’m not sure if it’s what she wants; she craves a kind of independence, but always with someone at her side. Even given that, however, she’s become much more interactive on her iPad in the past few months, even writing online and contributing to discussions relevant to her world.

In the world I want for her, that’s not strange. And when she does write, I want people to take her seriously. After she posted on a thread about using iPads for AAC, someone suggested that she had help with her punctuation and grammar. (Which was especially off-putting because Schuyler’s grammar is still a little… strange.) In the world that I want for Schuyler, she is presumed to be a competent communicator, and she is taken seriously when she advocates for herself.

To be taken seriously. That’s a common piece of what Schuyler works toward in her life.

She wants to be taken seriously in band, not parked in the back playing the Nerf cymbals or whatever, but as a contributing member of the ensemble. Next week, Schuyler will begin taking private percussion lessons. It was never recommended because of her limited level of participation, but she wants to feel like she belongs. A private teacher can help her with her fundamentals and get her back on track. I can see what Schuyler as a productive band member might look like. It looks pretty good.

Schuyler acts like a teenager more and more, which is to say she pushes us. And while we recognize that it is our job to push back, and sometimes to push back hard, I am nevertheless happy to have this particular issue to deal with. Schuyler is digging in her heels more, but she’s also becoming more affectionate with us, which feels a little strange from a girl her age but we will definitely take it. Schuyler needs to assert herself, but with reassurances all around.

At one time I might have confessed that given an introduction to a genie granting wishes, I would wish for Schuyler to have her polymicrogyria taken from her and for her brain to be healed. And honestly? Yeah, I would still take that as my first wish. No point in lying about it. I would. Forgive me, but it’s the truth.

But now, with a little introspection, I might wish for something more subtle. Given my heart’s desire from a magic genie, I might not wish for Schuyler to be made typical enough to make it in the world. It is entirely possible that I would instead choose a world that had places for Schuyler, a world that found value in her weirdness and the patience to wait to hear what she has to say. If I were wise, perhaps I would recognize that given a choice between these two unattainable wishes, the second might just make for a much more interesting planet.

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One Comment
  1. Mered
    November 4, 2014 |