Today I had a million things planned for the blog. I had a review, jotted down on paper and ready to finalize for all of you. I had an article about reading through someone else’s eyes. I had another armchair interview (which I still might post) waiting to be shared with those who love to know quirks about authors as much as I do.
Instead, I am sitting in front of my computer crying. No, crying doesn’t even accurately describe what I am doing right now. What I’m actually doing is bawling. Admittedly, some of you are going to read this, roll your eyes, and tell me that the REASON I am crying isn’t worth the internal drama I’m putting myself through. And…for some of you, that might be a valid argument. In some ways, I actually agree with you. But that doesn’t change the fact that I have snot running down my face and tears blurring my vision.
The reason I currently look like a lunatic? My daughter.
Most of you know that I have a 6 year old little girl. Some of you have even met her. And despite the fact that I argue with her on a fairly regular basis (probably because she’s as stubborn as I am) I adore every single blonde hair on her overly girly head. She is one of the 2 reasons I spend an obscene amount of time trying to be super mom. (Which, for the record…is completely unrealistic. Just in case you were wondering.)
Anywho, today I was at her school (trying to organize next months art lessons) when I was flagged down by her teacher. She had a serious concern. A concern that I actually have had myself for months. She is struggling with reading.
I’m not talking 1 or 2 levels below standards, I’m talking walking on fire and about to be engulfed by flames. Her current reading level is a 6. She must be at an 18 by the end of May, only 2 short months away.
Her grades are excellent. As a matter of fact, her report card last semester boasted only 1 “B” surrounded by a field of “A’s.” But that doesn’t change the fact that she is struggling, and I have no idea how to help her.
I am not upset with the idea of holding her back if (in fact) that is the best thing for her academically. I’m upset because I fear she is missing the point of something that I hold so dear.
When I read TO HER, she is swallowed up by the story, but when she tries to read to herself…she combusts with the pressure of trying to sound out the words. The worlds don’t come alive for her. The descriptions don’t create pictures in her head. Instead, they are like little bombs. Little bombs that she doesn’t know how to navigate. And as much as I try, I can’t protect her from the blast.
I guess the point of all this angst is because I fear she is going to grow up to hate the written word. Something that I firmly believe her active imagination would fall in love with if I knew how to be a better parent. I fear that she is going to give up, never live the thousands of lives books have to offer her. I fear she will shut down and nothing I say or do will be able to wake her up. I fear…everything. And since my fear has nowhere to live, it’s streaming down my face and out of my fingers.
I only hope that tomorrow I find a way to conquer it, so that tomorrow I can help her overcome it.