No longer were the days of scheduled naps, gold stars, and lollipop rewards. For Raquel, no longer were the days of naive young children with innocent ignorance, but now the transition to very aware adolescents with a far too critical eye. I should have been excited at the idea of Raquel progressing in her life, but once she received her elementary graduate certificate, I was more afraid than ever.
It was the sixth grade orientation when my mind began to spiral. I was acutely aware of the way people looked at Raquel. The apprehensive looks and hesitant eyes were so apparent. A volunteer approached us and politely asked Raquel to sign her name without knowing that she couldn’t even see the place she was supposed to sign. It wasn’t her fault. It’s no one’s fault. However, that still did nothing for my peace of mind.
The Normal thing to do: A Wolfram’s fight
The long walk down the hallway filled with pre-pubescent eleven year olds was no better. Raquel’s older sisters were there to accompany her, but that still didn’t help when it came time for her to interact with the other children. After all, she couldn’t even see who was saying “hello” to her. How was she supposed to make friends, or fit in, when she can’t even distinguish one face from another? We all have an innate desire to be normal, and we usually easily achieve this, but Raquel is different. There’s always going to be the constant fight that comes with the realization that she will never be normal no matter how hard she tries.
The burden of Staples and Office Depot
From multi-colored notebooks to patterned binders and colorful backpacks, middle school transition should be fun and exciting. My eldest daughters had so much joy in picking out their bundles of school supplies at this same stage. This is where they got their first locker equipped with the too complicated combination for their ages. Raquel can’t have any of that. She doesn’t get a choice. She has to have supplies that help her see and a different lock on her locker because she is unable to use a regular lock. In the fight for normal, Raquel sticks out like a sore thumb.
Anxiety’s cure: Finding our blessings
We all take for granted what we have and how normal life is until you have to experience it first hand with someone who struggles each and every day of her life. As a parent, I can’t help but feel worried for my child and panic at each hour of the day just wondering if she is okay. The world can be cruel sometimes, and it kills me inside to know that I can’t always protect her. I do know, however, that I have to remain strong for my daughter. Each day she finds it within herself to fight for something normal. She has taken what life has thrown at her, and yet she continues to live, and for that I feel blessed.