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Embracing Yet

Embracing Yet

"Mom", says Sam.  "My class is presenting a poem at Grandparents Day".

"Sam!", I say, "That's great.  Tell me about your poem".

"Well", says Sam.  "It's. About. Growth.  Mindset".  (While really emphasizing the vowels in mindset).

"Growth mindset?" I say.  "That sounds interesting.  Tell me more about what that means".

"Well", says Sam.  "When we say that we can't do something, our brain believes us. AND, our brain believes that we will never be able to do that".  

"If we have a growth mindset", he continues, "we believe that there is always a possibility that we will be able to do anything".

"And did you know?" he says "that you can turn any of your fixed mind sets into growth mindsets by just adding the word yet?"

"That's why our poem is about the superpower of YET".


by Heidi Harell
There are so many things you want to know, 
So many ways you want to grow, 
There are so many things you want to be, 
So many milestones you want to see.
You will get there if you never forget
The superpower of the word yet.
When you first tried to talk you were hard to understand, 
When you first tried to eat you needed a hand.
When you first tried to walk you fell and fell,
When you first tried to run it didn't go well.
But your baby self knew something we often forget
The superpower of the word yet.
Somehow you knew that if you kept trying,
Your chances of success would keep multiplying.
The same is true with every risk that you take.
You just have to learn from every mistake.
Where you put your effort, your goal will be met.
As long as you remember the superpower of yet.


"Mom", says Sam, with a twinkle in his eye.  "I don't play in the NHL yet".

Embracing Experiencing

Embracing Experiencing

"Mom", says Sam.  "I'm playing the guitar.  It's red.  And it's electric".

"Awesome", I say.  "Music is amazing.  Are any of your other new buddies doing it too?"

"Mom!  Our whole class is doing it.  We. Are. Starting. A. Band".

"I love it", I said.

"Did you know", he continued, "that people with dyslexic brains can be better at music than other brains".

"No", I say, "I did not know that".

"It's because", says Sam, "we are fully experiencing the music".

Now, I don't know if this is 100% true or if there is scientific validity to it, but if it feels true for Sam, then it's true for me.

It did, however, remind me of a definition of dyslexia that I read in the Gift of Dyslexia.  It was that 'Dyslexia is the result of the right brain often doing what the left brain should be, and the left brain doing what the right brain ought to.  On no consistent basis'.

Originally when I read this, my heart broke a little at the on no consistent basis.  Can you imagine living your life with not being able to rely on a consistent performance from your brain?

I can't.  

In fact trying to, made me start to twitch a little.

However, as it often happens, some reframing on my perspective by Sam, has allowed my to see this a little different.  

Can you imagine being able to bring right brained empathy to left brain logical analysis?  Can you imagine being able to bring left brain clarity and memorization to music?

How fully we could all be experiencing. 

"You might know our first song", says Sam.  "It's about people learning how to do something.  They're old now.  Like you.  Their name is the beach boys".  


Embracing Empathy

Embracing Empathy

"Mom", says Sam.  "This school is the sixth school that Steven has been to".

Knowing that this is Steven's second year at Sam's school and that the boys are currently in grade six, I quickly calculated that this must be the only school that Steven had been to for more than a year.

Sam's math skills had beat me to it.  "Mom!", says Sam.  "This is the only school that Steven has been to for More. Than. One. Year."  


We had suspected that Sam had some learning differences by the end of grade two.  We had found him an (amazing!) tutor for grade three and grade four.  We had booked his psych-ed testing for learning disabilities by the end of grade four and had our suspicions confirmed with the final psych-ed results, a month into grade five. We were lucky enough to secure a spot in the school for kids with language based learning disabilities for grade six.

Things had not been easy at school up until the move of schools (and the vice principal may have had me on speed dial), but things had never got to a point of needing to leave the school.

My heart hurt for Steven and his family.  What a hard and bumpy and anxious road they had taken to get here.  

Moving schools once was hard and we had to really keep talking about it to Sam.  And I'm not sure that he really believed me that this school was going to be different until he actually arrived.

I cannot imagine what the road looked like in another house where I'm imagining they also had conversations about the next school being different - yet it proved to not be the solution either.

Today I'm feeling very grateful for the easiness of our road and feeling empathy for all those out there trying different turns to land on the right school solution for their little one who's learning style may be a little atypical.

TODAY.com Parenting Team Parenting Contributor