Dear Little One...
May 08, 2022
By Lauren Goegan
I was watching you sleep today. You are such a goofy little sleeper. Facedown, bum in the air. I don’t know how you are comfortable in that position, but you look so adorable and happy. You are nine months old, and time is going by so quickly. When I watch you sleep, I like to think about all the possibilities you have in front of you. Will you be happy? Will you travel the world? Will you go to university? Will you find a hobby you love? Will you get married one day? The list goes on with endless possibilities ahead of you.
And then sometimes, I think about the not-so-distant future. Will you like school? Will you be a happy student? Will you have an LD like your mom? When I go down this road of thought, I start to worry. I don’t want you to be the kid in class, like me, worried about not being able to read like all the other kids. I don’t want you to hate school, or fake a tummy ache so you don’t have to go. I want school to be a positive experience for you, little one.
Now as I watch you sleeping, I think about all the possibilities for your future. I don’t know whether you will someday be an LD kid like your mom. Nevertheless, here is what I do know:
I know that I will be your biggest cheerleader in whatever you choose to do.
I will be at all your soccer games, recitals, school plays, whatever makes you happy. I want you to find your passion in life, to dream big. Those dreams might change over time, they often do, but I want them to be yours. Being an LD-kid like your mom or not, you can always dream big and I know I will support you no matter what.
I know I will never be the parent you go to for help with your English homework, and that’s ok. Your papa can help you with that. Mom will do the math stuff. Your mom will also not be the person to teach you to drive, because to this day, she still mixes up her rights and her lefts. However, she will teach you to bake some amazing cupcakes. From this, I hope you learn that we all have our strengths and challenges, and over time you will learn what yours are. I know I will help you find your strengths, and support you to navigate areas you find challenging.
I know one day you might struggle with reading and writing, or face other learning challenges. I know I worry about this more than I should. I read at least a half dozen books a day to you, and I hope you develop a love of reading. I hope you become an avid reader, who gets lost in the magical world of stories, full of imagination and fun. As an LD kid, I never particularly liked to read, but I have learned that it’s about finding the right books for you. Maybe audiobooks will help make the stories come alive.
I know there might be a time that you need accommodations or some extra help. I will be your advocate if that time comes. I will meet with your teachers and we will find a way. I know I will help you get the support you need, little one. This I don’t worry about. My mom was my advocate when I was little, and I learned from the best. But I also know there will come a time when I have to let you advocate for yourself. I will do my best to teach you how to stand on your own two feet (both figuratively and literally).
Will You Have LD Like Me?
I know one day you might be diagnosed with LD. I hope if that day comes, it fills you with the same relief it gave me. The relief that comes with realizing that I wasn’t dumb or stupid. I learned differently. You will find a way to navigate your learning, I know you will, and mom’s always here when you need her. I know that if you are diagnosed with LD, I will tell you the same thing my parents told me, that LD is only one part of who you are, and that there are so many different and wonderful pieces that make you someone special.
I know there is still so much I don’t know and that scares me. But I also know that with each new challenge that comes up, I will tackle it and persevere like I have my whole life. Having an LD has made me resourceful, and persistent. I have my own toolbox of strategies and supports that get me through challenges and this toolbox is always growing and changing. I know I will teach you the strategies that helped me and support you in developing your own toolbox. We will figure out what we don’t know together as a family.
So, as I watch you sleep little one, and I think about all the things you might be, I know without a doubt that you are loved and that I look forward to the endless possibilities ahead of you. I can’t wait to see the person you grow up to be.