Tiny Teacher

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” Angela Schwindt

My youngest daughter is a combination of marvelous mischief, love in excess, and rock sold stubbornness. She is unpredictable, sensitive, and happy. I envy her giggle, live to see her smile, and admire her penchant for play.

And while she’s all sorts of wonderful, she also has a speech delay. While she’s made tremendous strides with her vocabulary, we have some major mountains to climb in terms of her articulation/intelligibility. My role is to celebrate strengths and to seek out and solidify plans for progress.  Under the care of speech therapists, we work together. I am grateful to gain knowledge in the subject, help her cultivate comfort and confidence, and mark milestones with genuine glee.

But I’m going to keep it real and admit that throughout this process I’ve been battling my own insecurities. It’s unnerving to see my child struggle . As a mom, my love is unconditional. I am forever proud of her personality and always honored to be her first and fiercest cheerleader. But watching her come to understand her differences and hurt because of them has unleashed a wave of emotions I didn’t expect.

I worry. Sometimes I push too hard. I’ve caught myself comparing then crying. I take for granted everything we do right and become anxiety-ridden over things beyond our control.

We need to own this part of parenthood better. When we only talk about the polished parts of our lives it messes with our minds and does a number on our hearts. Here, in the murky mess of motherhood, I grow best.

My girl works hard. She believes in herself. My fears, whether real or ridiculous, are not hers to carry or own. They are mine. But no fear is as powerful or profound as love. And man do I love this kid.

She’ll get there. And while I’m watching her discover and delve into her ability to express, I’m humbly reminded that my tiny teacher is showing me that passion and peace is possible at any age or stage in life.

And to any parent who has to gauge or gut check themselves about their child and their development, we’ve got this. Trust love and put faith in the tiny teachers who gift us inspiration.