After publishing yesterday’s post, “So Many Kids Are Just Like Me” I added a video of Emma writing those words and more. I hadn’t added it when I first wrote the post because Emma hadn’t given me permission yet and we were still trying to get the video uploaded, ran into problems with the picture being condensed and other issues. In any case, for those who want to view it now, you can. On a personal note, I’ll just add that this video makes me feel very squirmy because it does not capture the playfulness we usually have together, and I’m hyper aware of the anxiety I was feeling while we were taping… Also the video does seem to be taking longer than it should to load, at least it is on my computer, but Emma has said she’d like to tape more, so I’m hoping we will get better at uploading as we continue.
My friend Alex commented on yesterday’s post about the impact of watching Emma write, as opposed to reading about it. It was exactly for this reason that we decided it was important to post the video. There is nothing like seeing in real-time another person writing this way. No amount of words, no matter how well phrased can describe this process the way watching it in real-time does.
I will never forget that moment at the Autcom Conference in 2012 when I watched a boy, younger than Emma is now, write such insightful and profoundly wise comments that his mother then read out loud during a presentation. It was that moment when I thought to myself – maybe, just maybe my daughter has thoughts like this, and we just have to find a way for her to express them. It makes me cry with gratitude thinking about that moment not so very long ago. No one could have convinced me then that just a year and a half later we would be where we now find ourselves.
It is inevitable that there will be people who say things like, “well it takes too long” and “how can this work in a class room?” But as a parent who has wanted nothing more than to know what my daughter was thinking, who believed despite what the majority of people believed and were telling us that maybe, just maybe they were wrong, watching Emma write is when time stands still. The excitement I feel when she begins to point to a letter is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Each letter she points to is a tiny gift wrapped in beautiful paper, as the paper peels back to uncover the word inside the world and everything in it stops. It is a sensation like none other.
To my daughter, who works so very hard to accommodate my need to hear her experience of the world put into words, I thank you. Every single time you do, even though you feel it’s tedious, I thank you. Gratitude does not come anywhere near my feelings. There are no words for this. And I know this is a tiny glimpse into what you, Emma, feel every time you are asked to put into words your thoughts. Words can’t come close… finally I understand…