Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Learning to Listen

I've learned to listen to me. 
Not anyone else. 
I've learned to trust my own instincts when it comes to Erin. 

Since I became a mother in 2003, I've had to learn so much. 
I listened to many people. 
Do this. 
Don't do this. 
Do that.

One person decided that since I wasn't going to mother my child the way she mothered her own child, she didn't want me in her life.  I wasn't listening.  To her.  I cried about it.  For weeks.

That's how I felt.

Here we are almost 8 years later.  I'm finally learning to listen.  To Me.  No one else.

Each year in school, I was concerned about Erin's progress.  She wasn't keeping up.  Everyone told me to wait until Winter Break.  She'll catch up around Christmas they all told me.

This year I stopped listening to everyone else.  I approached Erin's teachers almost immediately with my concerns.  To a one they all listened.  To me.  This time someone was listening to what I had to say.

So now Erin reads.  But doesn't comprehend what she's reading.
So now Erin can do simple math.  But doesn't retain it.
So now Erin can write a small essay.  But doesn't always keep on track.

So now I've put my foot down.

I have 4 amazing advocates for Erin at her school.  Her 3 teachers have been with me each & every step of the way.  Her principal has listened to what I have to say.

I am so sad that I never made anyone sit up & listen & hear.
To Erin.  Who was floundering.
To Me.  Who had the degree & is the parent but was unsure.

We received the results of Erin's benchmark testing & the FCAT.
They heard me.
But more importantly they heard Erin.

If you've heard me. 
In some small way. 
Learn my lesson. 

Listen to yourself.
But most importantly.
Listen to your child.


Sandra said...

Wow... How I love this post! Why is it so hard to listen to our inner voice? The best advice I can give any parent (new or experienced) is to follow your instincts. I learned that several years ago and so far my instincts have never failed me.

Good for you, Tammie!

Vivian M said...

Sending all three of you a huge hug. You are awesome parents, and Erin is an awesome kid. Not that I am biased or anything. ;o)

Now throw the guilt away and the tissues, because Erin has a brilliant future ahead of her!

And about time you listen. :o)