I Can’t Do This By Myself!
He already knew how to tie his shoes when he held them on his lap. He was struggling to tie them when they were on his feet.
My situation wasn’t all that different from his.
I had used Blackboard to design the college class I was about teach for the first time ever. But I was struggling with the platform while interacting with students and grading their work.
I stared at the computer screen, baffled by all the buttons, wondering which one to click. “I can’t do this by myself!” I thought.
That’s the moment when I remembered my grandson uttering those words as he stared at the untied shoe on his foot. “Grammy, I can’t do this by myself.”
“I’m right here,” I assured him as we sat together on the couch. “I’ll stay right here until you’ve got it down pat.”
A few minutes later, he was off, eager to show he parents how he could put his shoes on and tie them all by himself.
I stared at the computer screen unsure. Scared to fail. Unwilling to click one of the many buttons before me. My immobility was similar to what I sometimes experienced while raising a child with special needs, when every day brought a new obstacle.
A new setback.
A new illness.
A new search for resources and doctors.
A new solution for our child’s medical condition.
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Jolene Philo is the author of the Different Dream series for parents of kids with special needs. She speaks at parenting and special needs conferences around the country. She’s also the creator and host of the Different Dream website. Sharing Love Abundantly With Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages® for Parents Raising Children with Disabilities, which she co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman, was released in August of 2019 and is available at local bookstores, their bookstore website, and at Amazon.
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