As I was reading my regular Monday morning e-mail from my dear, dear friend Flighty, it occurred to me how much of an impact blogging and the bloggers we interact with have on our lives.
My daughter Andrea sits her final exam tomorrow. She will then leave the school and walk through the gates for the last time. What an achievement… I don’t mean to leave school; I think I mean what an achievement for my daughter, Andrea. Friends who have been around a while, in the days when blogging was as required as breathing, may remember this post. My daughter was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism in 2003 when she was 8 years of age. The same year I lost my mam. The funny thing is, I lost my mam in October and Andrea was diagnosed in the December and my mam never even knew she was ill, or how ill she was. She just loved her.
I remember after the diagnosis she was prescribed (T4) Thyroxin for life. I could never imagine the changes that would occur in a very short time. My daughter blossomed. She was now able to do all of the things that she had never ever thought she would be able to. Swimming, bike riding, tree climbing, running, skipping… They all sound like such normal activities; most of us take for granted the ability to do these things. All wonderful things but I was warned that her schoolwork would suffer….
In her final parents meeting at JuniorSchool I spoke with her teacher, Mr Woodhouse. He told me that Andrea was not going to reach her potential. He told me she would make remedial classes at best in all subjects. I was astounded. Doomed to fail, no hope, no offer of help, no kind words of optimism. FAILURE! It’s hard to hear… It’s hard for your child to hear those remarks. I remember leaving the demountable buildings with Andrea’s little hand tightly held in mine. I would not cry.
It takes time for that kind of information to sink in, what I had been told did not make any sense to me. I had (and still have) two very bright children. Reading and writing as quick ,if not quicker than their peers. Andrea was singing the alphabet when she was two. NO. The teacher may have had no hope but we had bucketfuls!
I can’t even remember how it all started. I remember it was when we didn’t have a home computer. Flighty did weekly blog posts full of interesting things about the planet, animals, festivals of celebration and much, much more. Something for everyone but I knew he always had Andrea’s interests at the forefront of his mind. We were regulars at our local library, booking the computer for an hour at a time. She was able to read, research, comment and thank him for the wonderful posts full of vital information that reached her far quicker than it reached most. It was as if it was a handful of delicious food held out to her and she would reach out for it and gobble it up greedily.
So here we are. Andrea has sat just almost all of her exams, she has studied (and on occasions, crammed!) so she is able to sit in the exam hall for each examination knowing that she has done everything she could. Her projected grades are good and her incentive was piqued with the knowledge of monetary reward from her Mam and Dad should she reach her goals……
Now we wait. Andrea has chosen to stay at school, a sixth form centre in the city where she will study for A levels in English, English Literature, Geography and History. Those are her favourite subjects and ones which she excels at. All of those subjects are related to the important years of those blog posts from a friend.