I always underestimate how badly my twins cope with big changes. Especially Amelia. They have been asking me questions all week, "Why can't I keep going to the bunny school?" (Bunny school = their preschool with a bunny.) "Why can't I stay home with you?" and "It is hard learning new things, and scary."
When I asked their new kindergarten teacher how they were doing in class, she responded, "So what is their developmental delay?" I was taken aback, I did not know they had a developmental delay. I asked her to explain. "Well," she said, "they can write a few letters..." It was all I could do not to cry in front of her. I pointed to Eloise and told her just the skeleton outline of our life for the last year. It was clear to me she didn't get it, there was no way in the 30 seconds I had with her to explain what we have been through since Eloise was born. Since Eloise was conceived.

In my current emotional state, small insults and misunderstandings feel both insignificant, and unbearable. But the teacher's assessment pushed me over the edge. There was not a minute since the twins were born when I wasn't trying my hardest to be their mother. I have sacrificed so much to do it. I was all lined up with a PhD program. But when I felt like God was prompting me, in no uncertain terms, to start a family, I did it. And wham! Twins! Wow! Okay!
So to have a teacher look at me and wonder why my twins aren't 'kindergarten ready...' it brought to a head all the sadness and doubts I have been harboring. I have even been questioning why am I even doing this? Why did I bring any children into this crazy world? If it is taking everything from me, why am I doing it at all?

To my grand relief, and I'm sure answer to more prayers than just mine, the answer came to me. I was asking my Heavenly Father the same questions my children were asking me: "Why can't I stay home with you?" and "It is hard learning new things, and scary." The answer I gave to my children is the same answer I needed: Because it is the best place for you to learn. You could stay home with me, but I can promise you wouldn't learn as much. It is good to learn to do things that are scary and hard. You can only grow with me so much, and I want you to learn so much more.

This is the best place for me to learn.


  1. Developmental delay? DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY??? Because they just started kindergarten and can't write every single letter? Are. You. Kidding me?!?! That is NOT a developmental delay. I truly hate the amount of pressure the world puts on young children to be able to read and write so young. Every child is different, and every circumstance is different. Some children may be in the perfect environment to be learning these things, and still just won't get it until they're 6 or 7 (that was Grace). Others get it once they're 2 (that was me). Pretty sure I'm no genius, nothing super special, and my sister is actually near the top of her class in high school right now. Tyler's younger brother couldn't read until he was 10, but now he knows the constitution better than most politicians, and until he left on his mission, nearly always had his nose in a book (and the weeks and days prior to him leaving for the MTC, there was always a Book of Mormon within arms reach of him).

    Developmental delay my *#$%^*(@$.

    End of rant.
    I love your perspective. And I appreciate that you share it.
    Love you all,

  2. I agree with Laura. The bar is raised higher and higher every few years for our young kids and they are really shoved into the reading scene. Reading and writing are things that come when kids are "ready," like potty-training. Don't let any groupings bother you... and, I'm sorry, but it was rude for her to just assume there's some kind of delay.

    Your girls are plenty bright... They will be fine.

  3. Okay, even if the girls did have developmental delays, that was not the correct way to go about asking. Something along the lines of "I've noticed the girls aren't at the same level as some of my other kids. Is there something causing that, or is it all good?" or something other than directly assuming should have been done. There's a saying that I think is dumb, but fits this situation: "To assume makes an ass out of u and me." And yeah, that teacher made an ass of themselves (Sorry, but I'm not really sorry for the language).

    And besides, your girls are crazy intelligent, and they have two crazy intelligent parents. When they do learn how to write and when all that clicks within them, they'll excel.

    In fact, Grace was in reading assisted classes through the 2nd grade, and look at her now.

    I suck at history and my spelling is crap, but I'm going into chemistry. I don't need to spell for that. Thank goodness for shorthand.

    I'm betting your kids are going to be history buffs judging off the way you talk with them. They ask so many questions, there's no way they're not learning. And (this just popped into my head, you don't have to do it) if you're worried about the same thing happening when Hazel starts school, maybe have her do homework with the twins. I'm betting she might feel a little left out anyway, and that would give her bonding time with them while learning at the same time.

    And finally, you, Shelley, are an amazing human being. I admire you so much and am so glad you keep a positive outlook, even when it seems impossible. I've been blessed to have spent the summer with you and your amazing girls and will cherish those few months forever. You have become a role-model and a hero to me, and I want you to know that I love you, Trevor, and your girls. And Sam too. I think Sam might be the one with the developmental delay (too soon?).

    Love you, Shelley. I'll see you in two weeks :)

  4. SO proud of my three girls. They've left me nothing to add!!! BUT - I do have a teacher's license, as does Molly. Your children aren't delayed. ARE NOT DELAYED. That was a VERY unprofessional thing for her to say; she probably regrets it already. At least, I hope she does. Your girls will be fine. They will make steady progress, and will be able to learn everything they need to learn in time. As Molly said, and I will re-iterate: Grace required extra reading help (technically special education) through the second grade. Between second and third grades she read three Harry Potter books.. it would have been four, but I had her hold off a bit, as she was only 9. Now she is in Pre-AP and Honors and Accelerated classes. Oliver was slower to read, and slower to "mature" as well. Looking at my sweet 12 year old boy, I wouldn't change a THING.

    I hate that she said that. I hate that you are worried. :(

  5. I echo some of the sentiment expressed by others here. The teacher's blunt question to you is really surprising to me. I don't know this kindergarten teacher, obviously, but I hope that she shows a lot of compassion and love toward the little children in her class this year. And I hope that this classroom ends up being a place for them to grow and thrive.

    I've never met your girls, but they seem extremely bright and creative based on the things that you write (and the pictures that I see). I'm sure that they will be just fine.