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Challenge: It's Back to School: Share Your Advice

A letter to my daughter on her 1st day of 3rd grade

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My dearest Ashlynn,

Your courage amazes me daily. It inspires me and pushes me beyond any limit real or imagined. Today was your first day of 3rd grade. You have been waiting for this day since the last day of 2nd grade. Actually, quite possibly since the first day of 2nd grade when you told me,"After 2nd grade you I will be in 3rd grade!"

I emphatically responded,

"We need to make it through 2nd grade first!"

We bought you a new backpack, new outfit, new shoes, and you got a new haircut. Two out of the four items went as planned. The backpack and new shoes went off without a hitch. The other two? Well Ashlynn, it's just not our style to have a few hiccups is it?

Getting a new haircut is always an adventure. Your dyspraxia, ADHD, SPD, and receptive language issues make following specific commands somewhat challenging don't they? I stepped in to help guide your head where it needed to go so the stylist would stop reminding you of how hard it was for you to follow those simple commands.

Then came the new outfit. We picked it out together! I didn't think we needed to try it on because I know what size you are and I was sure it would fit. Last night we hung it up on your dresser anticipating the first day of school! However, this morning when you went to put it on you were more confused than ever. I came into help and realized I had bought you a romper! That flowey material fooled both of us didn't it!! I could have sworn it was a dress. A romper though? Yeah, not a friend to the girl who has dyspraxia. I apologized and offered other options in your closet. We chose a pretty sun dress you hadn't worn much, but I still felt bad.

You took it in stride though!

All morning you were jumping up an down and excited to go to school and I marveled at you. School is so hard for you. Last year you came home with bloodied shirts or completely different shirts because you had so thoroughly stained yours from picking your finger nails. Almost every assignment you completed you struggled in, and many times you ate and played alone. How on Earth were you excited to go back to that?

Three days before we saw a previous client of mine who is your age. Her apraxia is resolved and she has residual learning disabilities. She told us how she didn't want to go back to school because she was bullied and you sat there unfazed. I thought to myself if I were in either of your shoes I would feel like my client; yet I was so grateful you are you.

You have a strength and internal resolve I am working towards. You have courage and resiliency I have yet to conquer. Where my instinct is to run back your instinct is to jump forward.

I am inspired by you. I am always going to be here by your side. I'm going to love you, but I'm going to push you. I'm going to do everything in my power to help you obtain the tools you need in order to live life on your terms.

It took me many years to believe and even more to practice this simple advice by Erada,

"If it's both terrifying and amazing, you should definitely pursue it."

Many grown men and women haven't followed this advice. Some die before they ever follow this advice at all. However,



YOU embody this. YOU are a living testament to this.

Pursue it all Ashlynn! I've always got your back and I'm your biggest fan!



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