My middle child, DD2, is taking an informal creative writing class. Tonight is the third of four classes. She’s been doing pretty well, wearing her worry stone to a nib and bouncing her knee a good share of the two hour classes, but she’s getting through. She may even have her writing assignment finished for tonight. I’m trying to keep any interference/reminding/checking up on to a minimum.
This is a difficult thing for her. So many of her contemporaries headed off to college this fall. This girl was petrified just to fill out paperwork to register to vote. This class is about stretching herself and testing the waters. It’s about getting a taste of working with a class and seeing if she wants to apply to take classes at a local college. It’s about facing some fears head on.
The first class involved reading their writing out loud. Twice. Talk about the ultimate in fear for this girl. She did it though, and her writing was well received. I actually got to hear the second piece as I had arrived early to pick her up (she’s too scared to get her driver’s license yet). She’s got quite a voice and I was so glad I was early to hear it.
This class is small – less than ten people – all of whom are women. My daughter is the youngest and it ranges up to age 81. They’ve given her good feed back, and my girl needs to hear positive things about herself. Much like her brother, it takes a LOT of praise before anything is going to go to her head.
DH is in a hurry for this child to be ready to spread her wings. His personality just has a hard time dealing with her sensory processing disorder. It’s a long, rough process and it can wear me down, too. I just have more hands on experience with working with DD2 and trying to help her to work through her issues. This is her life long reality and it’s not always easy (as a parent) to feel that progress just doesn’t always seem to be there. You wonder if your child will ever be able to function on their own. She’s afraid of driving, the idea of getting a job, the idea of school, crowds, and so much more.
You can’t just tell this child to suck it up and deal with it, because it doesn’t work that way. Her fears aren’t the jittery fears we all get. She gets immobilizing fears. I can’t begin to imagine what it feels like to her. I only see the outward result of the fears.
So we have to celebrate the baby steps, like being able to read her writing out loud to a group of strangers, and hope the baby steps keep coming. Small steps still get you where you’re going. It just takes longer.