Motherhood! Just the word can make you freak out a bit. Some of us (me included) got into parenting without thinking about it too much. If I would have given it sincere thought–considering the awful background I had as a child myself–maybe I would have said, “No, thank you.”
Today was one of those days that I rejoice in the fact that I did become a mom.
I’ve been a bit of all types of moms in a sense. I’ve been a stay at home mom, a part-time and full-time working mom and as icing on the cake, a homeschool mom.
My kids were a big part of my career, since I was a teacher they traveled to school with me, and during summer and Christmas vacation I was home with them.
But, going back to why today is special.
Let me tell you a story about my 21-year-old boy. As a child he had developmental challenges. His motor skills weren’t developed well enough for him to do well in school. For some time, we thought he had dyscalculia and dyslexia. It wasn’t a pretty picture for a child beginning school.
We struggled with him during those early years.
We had the blessings of having a great team of teachers during those first four years in school. Most of the time I needed to work with him on part of his school work at home, and then move on to his homework.
I took a part-time job during that time, where I would get off work at one in the afternoon, so I would be home by the time he came home from school.
He received occupational and speech therapies up to third grade. The worst day would be on Mondays, when my husband took him to a learning center where he would receive two therapies, then have to drive him back to his school (a more than forty minute drive).
It was hard on him and on us. Since there were no cognitive optometrists in our area, we would travel to San Juan (more than two hours) for him to get his visual therapies every other week.
Then to top it off, I did the follow ups at home. We would walk each afternoon at least twenty minutes. All our games needed to focus on visual and hand coordination (the game part lost an edge even if I made it sound fun).
He was a grown up fella in a small skinny body. But who said things can’t get worse?
They certainly did when he was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Now food, one of his joys, had to be scrutinized and dealt with. But that’s another story to tell! I was thrown into becoming a gluten-free mom.
Thank God we made it through.
He learned to deal with his life and make the best of it.
His hardest year in school was when he was in first grade. I will always remember his solemn eyes as I told him:
-You understand we have a problem, and we can’t hide away from it. It could sound awful for a child so young, but I wanted to be very honest with him.
-You will need to work harder than the rest of the kids in your class and that’s okay.
-Let’s focus on the things you can do well and on your strengths. You’ll have to become a good listener and rely on your memory and not your writing skills,
-Yet I know you’ll pull through because you’re a great kid and we will be with you all the way.
Well, my dear friends we did help him and kept along his side encouraging, sheltering and helping him and today as I saw him picking up all this stuff from his desk so many years after I reminded him:
“Don’t leave anything you may need.”
He just looked and said,
“Cojetelo, easy Mom, estoy bien.” Take it easy Mom, I’m okay. A bit in Spanish and a bit in English.
Actually I would think that his relaxed demeanor helped him throughout all these years. He did one thing at a time making his own path along the way.
I felt overwhelmed for a moment. Today was the last day of his bachelor’s degree. He finished school with almost a perfect 4.0 GPA and is at the top of his class.
My heart just felt tight in my chest, I felt so much, pride and joy, and so many memories came back.
When I looked at him for a split second I saw my skimpy little seven-year old who at his very young age accepted his challenges and went tackled them head-on, but with a tight grip on my hand. Making the darn best of it!
So that my dear friends, is what motherhood is all about, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Read more from Martiza Martinez on her blog, Believing