From the ashes of frustration and pain come success. I write about my son’s hard work to overcome a significant challenge and reach his goals.
When my oldest son was a young boy in the second-grade, I would sit with him on his bed and help him read whatever book he brought home from school. He would look up at me, doe-eyed and full of excitement. The work, though, was a struggle.
He loved looking at the pictures and skimming through the book, but he needed to be constantly reminded about the sounds each letter made. For every step forward, we seemed to take two or three steps back. I lost my patience more than a few times. Was he not paying attention to what I just said?
A prayer for help
He wanted so badly to read like his older sister and his friends. However, we would go over one basic reading rule or another and he would seem to forget it in seconds. More than a few nights I remember leaving his room, my eyes full of “hidden tears” and my heart breaking for him. He tried so hard, but could never seem to be able to grasp the concepts.
My wife and I would commiserate for hours, praying for help. We knew that something was wrong, but weren’t sure what. We took him to doctors, teachers, and professionals to see if they could help. The cost and distance didn’t matter. Finally we got an answer. He was Dyslexic.
It would take a few more years for us to figure out the right tools and to advocate for the best teachers, but in time he started to make real progress.
I can’t help but think today about those memories as my son starts his senior and takes his first steps toward life after high school.
His reading level today: Post-graduate level.
Last year, he even took two Advanced Placement Humanities classes, offered at his school through the College Board, and scored a four on both tests, earning him college credit while he’s still in high school. (Yes, I’m bragging now, but I couldn’t be prouder of his hard work and success.)
A grateful heart
Those early struggles seem so far away now. In fact, I find it hard to even remember reading with him on his bed. The road has been tough, but he’s persevered and fought to overcome. He’s one of the most dedicated and unselfish people I know. He’s given up a lot that many kids now expect — participating in travel soccer, baseball and football and other activities — so that he could dedicate the time to his studies.
He has big dreams. He’ll have his choice of colleges should he go in that direction. I have so many things I want to write, so many things I want to say. In the end, I’m speechless. With a child already in college, I know this year is going to fly-by too fast for my liking. I’m just happy for him and the bright future that awaits him. Good luck bud!