This afternoon I took my beautiful daughter to ballet. And I smiled proudly as she tried valiantly to keep up with the other girls. As she tried again and again to copy what they were doing. As she never gave up, despite her body refusing to cooperate. And I cried silent tears as I was reminded of just how much she struggles with motor planning. As I was reminded of why she is “failing” PE at school. And as I was reminded of all the thousands of hours of therapy she has had over the years to try to help her to “keep up”, in a game she will never be able to “keep up with”.
And then my daughter cried loud and long when I told her that we will be trialling her in a different class. Despite using all my parently wiles in trying to explain that it is the teachers’ job to try to make sure she is in the MOST FUN class for her. She can read. She saw the timetable. She isn’t stupid. She wants to be with the 7 and 8 year olds. Not the 4 to 6 year olds. Of course she does. She will be 8 this year.
In the name of inclusion, I could keep her in the current class, insist she stays with her peers.
But here is the rub. I can see plain as day that it wouldn’t be fair to the other girls or the teacher for her to be in the class. The teacher would have to spend so much time with Sophie that the other girls would miss out. I saw it plain as day.
And my heart breaks a little as I think about whether she will fit in better with the 4 to 6 year olds, or at a special needs ballet school. I am drawn back to a time when Sophie was in preschool, and I struggled with sending her to the special needs school for a couple of days a week..because she didn’t quite fit in there either.
And then I remember that despite my trepidation, Sophie thrived at that school. And she loved it. And I remember that every time I have worried about her, or become upset over these types of things..she has always, always shown me that in the end, she is amazing and resilient and strong. .That in the end, whatever life throws her, and however upset she might get in the moment…she always picks herself up and comes out smiling.
I have so very, very much to learn from my daughter. I only hope that I can be the parent she deserves to have. And what she deserves is someone like her..someone who keeps trying, never gives up, and always finds a bright side in the end. I am so proud of her, I think my heart might burst.