Thursday, June 2, 2016

I can do hard things

May marked six years since Ben contracted meningitis, and while my heart felt a little more tender remembering that experience and the road we've travelled since then, the anniversary passed with most of the pain (maybe it will always hurt a little bit?) replaced with gratitude for how far we've come and the lessons we've learned along the way, love and pride for the boy who has changed our hearts, our family, and our world, and a deepened testimony of the atonement and the reality of miracles. 

I can hardly believe that Ben did so well in kindergarten this year. At the start of the year, we had a lot of misgivings and anxiety about whether or not he'd be able to handle both the social and academic aspects of the mainstream classroom. With lots of hard work and supports, Ben passed all of his benchmarks and is moving forward to first grade. One afternoon while we were working on homework together (he never complains that I make him practice his writing, time test his sight words, do flash cards, finish math worksheets, and read books every single day), he was having a hard time reading a very advanced level book and said, "this is really hard." I encouraged him to keep working at it and told him that I knew that he could do hard things. He wrote this message--all by himself--in his journal that day and I'm not sure who taught who that day:

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