Deena Seifert, MS, CCC-SLP
Deena Seifert, MS, CCC-SLP

Get the tissues ready.  Anyone who parents or tutors a child with dyslexia and/or language-learning differences knows what a struggle it can be and will appreciate this.

I got a text message from my high school senior while I was at work this morning.  She had a school paper she left at home. I want you to grab the paper on my bedside table.  My first thought was – what paper? and why didn’t she remember to bring it to school with her.  I drove home at my first break a little annoyed wondering how long it would take me and when would she ever learn.  To my surprise I  found a MLA-style paper on the kitchen table.  It was entitled “A Mother’s Day Project.”  Here’s what it said:flowers

Dear Mom,

First off, I want to tell you how sorry I am that I didn’t do anything for you on Mother’s Day especially since you are the most deserved mother in this world to receive above and beyond gifts.  As you can probably tell, I wrote this letter like I would for school and I did this because I want this letter to be the very last paper I write in my high school years.  Yes, yes…I underlined high school because I know when I go off into college I’ll have endless papers to write.  I feel like it’s an appropriate way to end my chapter in high school because the reason I was able to flip the pages was because of you.  I don’t want this Mother’s Day Card to be all about me, but I want you to realize how much you mean to me and how much of a difference you can make in a person’s life.

 I owe you everything and more.  I would not of gotten through high school without you.  Every time I wanted to give up and listen to the voices in my head that were telling me I couldn’t, you would step in and make your voice louder telling me that I could. When I left Friendship School, I remember feeling so lost.  I did not prepare myself for the challenges I would have to face, but you did.  Even to this day, I still have my moments of wanting to give up and sometimes I would even find reasons to blame you for my mistakes which was stupid because you were the only person holding my hand through every challenge.  You are so special to me because you and I are always going to have a connection that no one will ever understand or ever dare to come between.  You understand me when it comes to my dyslexia, which is something I could not explain to anyone.  I was sensitive when it came to my dyslexia because I didn’t want to be different from anyone else, especially my younger brother or older sister.  I used to think that no one would be proud of me when it came to school or academics, but I realize now that you are.  I also realize that being dyslexic will not define me.  You are always picking me up when I fall down and you make me work harder because you know what I am capable of.  Every second that it takes for me to walk across the stage, get my diploma, shake hands and move my tassel to the other side of my cap…will all be for you.

            You are my number one supporter, you are my cheerleader, you are the voice inside my head telling me that I can overcome any challenge, you…you are my mom.

Happy Mother’s Day – I LOVE YOU.

After I dried my eyes, I realized she really had been listening to me all these years.

…All the times I asked how her paper was going and she rolled her eyes…

…All the many topics we brainstormed ideas for and she wanted to give up…

…All the nights I nagged her to keep going and working…

…All the times she rolled her eyes, said “Oh, Mom!”

…All the “You Can Do It” pep talks and the “No, I can’t” responses…

writinggirlShe listened. She appreciated the journey and she gave me the best Mother’s Day present she could possibly give me….an essay of her thanks.  She gets an A++ from me.  You can bet I’ll be jumping up and down at her graduation hooting, hollering and embarassing both of us.  It was worth the journey…