This is by far one of my favorite photographs of Everlee.  I love the twinkle in her eye, the gentle look of her hand, and her curious smile.  When I first saw this photo, I knew instantly it would be the photo I would choose for her Upper School Graduation which would be featured when the seniors present the roses to their parents.  It seems to capture her soul.  I think of her, and I think of this….keeping her safe, keeping her innocent, unharmed, carefree, not a fear in the world.

I feel as though we have been pretty lucky so far with Everlee’s diagnosis since it was caught early, and she has been at a school where she was able to be surrounded by teachers who were all trained in Orton-Gillingham.  Everlee has only expressed a handful of times her distress over being dyslexic. She described it has “horrific” and “traumatic”, but in another sense shows so much confidence when explaining to her 2nd grade classmates the definition of dyslexia and what it means to her.  Most days, I honestly felt “okay”, like I could breathe a little easier, not completely, but just a little, tiny bit easier.

Then came the meeting with the teachers and the progress reports.  I hear how Everlee is excelling in math, loves to write page after page ( still struggles with spelling), is above average in certain areas academically…..BUT, she is anxious, afraid to try new things, loves math but is nervous to advance.  Her progress report is filled comments such as, ” the anxiety piece in her (tears)”, “feels overwhelmed”, “wants a blockade between her and the student next to her.”, “hope we can alleviate this pressure”, “hope we can alleviate this pressure.”  Now, I really can’t breathe.  Where is this coming from?  Not from home, not from us.  Then I try and remind myself it is all apart of Dyslexia…being anxious.  It comes with the territory.

When I think about my daily struggle and worry as a parent, I need to remind myself that maybe this is harder than I thought for Everlee.  She puts on a brave face, she wants to be strong.  I need to remember the picture with the twinkle in her eye and the curious smile, and remember to take each day one day at a time.  Breathe.