Sometimes I wonder about my life so far. Did I do good? Did I make the right choices? What could I have done differently?
Are there reasons why things happen the way they do?
Am I the only one having these thoughts, these doubts? Does it mean I am not confident enough, am I worrying too much?
Too many questions with not always a straight answer.
‘Mom, how do you write ‘Hartelijk gefeliciteerd, Oma’ (Happy Birthday, Grandma).
A simple question. I started spelling the letters one by one.
My mother’s birthday was coming up and my son Jeroen, 14 years old at the time, had picked out a card to send to her.
We were on vacation in France and a vacation friend overheard that question and asked Jeroen, ‘Wow, you don’t know, are you dumb or what?’
Three words hit me in the heart…. ‘are you dumb’…..
As a parent, you like to protect your child, try to save him from the dangers, the disappointments, the pains in life, which is impossible of course. It is part of life and we had to go through them too, it makes us stronger and sometimes wiser.
Jeroen was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 11, reading and writing were impossible for him, the letters were ‘dancing’ in his head.
Discovering that your child is dyslexic is not easy. How do you cope with that as a parent? How does it affect the child?
Life itself is hard enough. Having problems with reading and writing makes it an even greater challenge, and a challenge it became.
From early start Jeroen wanted to become a plumber, like one of his older friends who made ‘big bucks’ and owned a car when he was 18, the legal age in the Netherlands for a drivers license and driving a car.
Tragedy struck at 16….. a car accident, Jeroen was hit by a car and he broke his tibia an calf leg…….. end of a career and a dream……
Recovering from the accident, a teacher introduced him to AutoCAD
To make a long story short, now at age 23, he has a ‘job for life’ as an AutoCAD draftsperson with a company that designs the infrastructure in buildings and hospitals (water, sewage, drainage, air control etc.)
His boss does not mind the dyslexia, Jeroen is a genius in drawing/designing and calculation and he has 3D-vision.
Recently, Jeroen and his girlfriend bought a house and are in the midst of renovating. He updated the sewer system, installed the heating pipes into the walls, installed the bathroom and the toilets, plastered the walls, ceilings, with help from friends and family.
Of course we ‘studied the subject’ about who else has the gift of dyslexia.
To save time, during the first 4 years of his technical education, I read Jeroen’s technical schoolbooks to him, later he managed on his own.
Both Jeroen’s father and I, we never think of Jeroen being different, he is just special.
Ginnie loves it when Jeroen comes to visit us, he always needs a pencil and paper while he talks explaining things from work, for drawing is his life.
Do I need to worry, did I make the right choices, what could I have done differently?
You tell me. I am very content so far.
And what about that friend with the car, well, he happens to live in the house right next door to Jeroen again.
Both are now laughing. Who is dumb here?
Neither of them….
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Special guest post today by Astrid Wijdekop, from the Netherlands, who blogs over at 'Picturit'. Thank you for joining us here today, Astrid, and for your wonderful story and image.