I have been spending every Monday with my granddaughter, Keegan. I pick her up after school and help her get her homework done before we drive to ballet lessons. As you know, she has ACC and the lessons I learn from her are invaluable. We have a special bond, I was her daycare until she was ready for school. We spent everyday, all day together for many years. Now just on Monday’s do we get to spend one on one time together.
Keegan is a nine year old 2nd grader, and it has been a hard fought journey to get to second grade. The amount of repetition it takes to learn a new math function, or motor skill is daunting sometimes. There have been times where homework has taken 4 hours to finish, especially when learning a new skill! I admit to becoming so frustrated I want to scream. The littlest distraction can at times become virtually insurmountable. It doesn’t have to be anything but tassels or beads on her clothing. She just won’t be able to focus until we remove those articles from her clothing, even the school has taken notice of this. She genuinely doesn’t realize it is bothering her until we remove it.
But, once she absorb and understand a new concept, homework is done in 30 minutes or less! You can see the light go on and the relief on her face when she has grasped how to solve a new conundrum. She truly glows with self satisfaction! School, I think, is the hardest job she will ever have! But, if the school is patient and encourages her to reach for the stars, Keegan will not only reach but grab hold of those stars and sparkle.
With everything a battle to learn, she never had any problem with balancing! I swear to you she could wear stilettos better at 2 years of age than I could at 25! I kid you not. When she showed interest in ballet, her Grandma Stairs started her in a community center class. Keegan loved it, but after 2 years she started to get bored and couldn’t stay focused during class. Her grandma pulled her for misbehaving. My daughter Maureen and I started to hunt for a more challenging class closer to home. Keegan wanted a more seasoned ballet instructor, fewer students, with a ballet studio environment. I didn’t think it would be so easy to find, but find it we did!
Keegan is in a class with only 8 students, her instructor has danced with some major ballet companies, and she has class in a real ballet studio! She is thriving, gaining confidence, and becoming so poised and full of grace. Thank goodness for the dancing, it is an emotional outlet for all the daily struggles. While dancing she is free! She has complained that it takes longer to learn some of the moves than the other girls, but she knows she WILL get it with repetition.
Amazing, wonderful little imp! We should all learn a lesson from her persistence. I remind myself constantly to have patience and tolerance in everything that I do. I don’t always achieve it but I strive to not make snap judgements or criticize where I have no understanding of a situation. Keegan has taught me that, she lives it every day and endures the criticism from people who have no idea how hard it is for her. Once again, I have something to be Thankful for…………………. Keegan!