I have to give a shout out to my little Cidderbug today. The progress this kiddo has made in the past 3 years is astounding to me. Sometimes I feel bad for her that no one really knows what she’s up against or how hard some things are for her. Her great advantage and disadvantage is that to an unknowing eye she appears to be exactly like everyone else around her. But there are subtle differences in the way she processes information that makes some learning and social skills extremely difficult for her. She has been making steady progress and working hard but many assume she simply isn’t trying hard enough. Above all, she reminds me daily how much I take for granted and how amazing differences can truly be.
Yesterday we took her to get the earned reward of her first cell phone. This was a VERY big deal and something she’s been working hard for. She’s still too young for a phone and we’ve given a flat no response for the past two years – yes, she’s been consistently begging for two years now. But this summer my husband said he thought we could use this to our advantage and maybe we should consider it. The original deal was that she had to learn all her times tables this summer to earn it. She’s worked hard and has been doing well only struggling with some of the higher numbers, but it was her excellent behavior on our vacation that earned her the trip to the cell phone store yesterday. She didn’t know that was a possibility and generally was unaware of just how well she had done our trip so it was a doubly sweet surprise for her. There are probably more restrictions than privileges with it right now, but she’s still delighted. She can’t do anything now that she couldn’t do before but it’s totally different in her mind. And for $9 a month, mom and dad just got a new lease on discipline tactics/incentives. More on that program later.
I still have my moments when I feel exhausted and wonder/worry if she’ll ever conquer some of the gaps. But I cannot, should not and will not ignore the amazing progress she has made in the past three years. In so many ways she is like a different kid. The creative side of her is blossoming now. She’s become very intrigued by art and continues to be an amazing improviser. She has a free mind and I’m so proud of her for becoming less and less swayed by peer pressure. She is truly becoming her own person and it’s a beautiful thing. I wish I could describe the development I’ve seen. It’s not unlike the transformation of the caterpillar to a butterfly in my mind. I just want her to know that mom is aware of how far she’s come, how hard she works every day and how proud I am of her for all that she is and all that she is becoming. Keep flying my little butterfly. Keep flying.