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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Under the Weather

Charlotte's a bit sick today, and so I think we all need a "pick-me-up" post. 'Cause I'm oh-so-good at writing those, right?

Peter graduated from medical school this week!  Woohoo! Here's to a few more years of never seeing him :) All jokes aside, we're so proud of his accomplishment. Peter has worked so hard. He's done so much to get here. At a young age, Peter was diagnosed with Dyslexia. In some stroke of luck, Pete's teachers were amazing. They worked in a way that we would all hope teachers would work when our children have special needs. He was held back for half of 2nd grade, attending 1st grade for half the day, and 2nd grade for the rest of the day. During those early years, he would sit up at the teacher's desk while she read him his test and he would verbally take the test. He couldn't read.

In fifth grade, he was able to start reading picture books. He was in special ed classes until middle and high school when he started to mainstream back into "regular" classes. His senior year, when he was in all mainstream classes, he had an instructor who would meet with him once a week or so and go over all his classwork. This instructor would meet with his teachers throughout the week and find out what Pete needed to work on, what tests were coming up, what projects were due.

His school is does not have a large tax base. It's mostly rural, Amish countryside. They don't have large donors, or wealthy incomes to rely on. But they did the best with what they had. They never let him label himself, or allow him to slack off because he was in special ed. They (and his parents!) required him to fulfill his potential. Nothing more. Nothing less. They told him to keep going. To work hard. To find a way that he could learn, and then go with it.

As I watch Charlotte struggle to achieve milestones, or regress in areas that were once strengths, I think of her father. If this man, who hardly had a "normal" course, can walk across that stage, fulfilling his life long dream, then Charlotte can accomplish hers. No matter what holds her back, no matter what "others" may say, Charlotte will succeed.

She may not become a doctor. She may not run a marathon. But she will accomplish anything she wants to. It's not about what I want her to do. It's not about what others say she is capable of doing. If she can accomplish what she sets out to do, then she has succeeded.

And so have we.

Congratulations, Peter. We're so proud of you and all that you have accomplished as well.


  1. Congratulations to the whole family! You are right, just keep on telling Charlotte that she CAN. Because she does.

  2. I was looking forward to seeing you and that amazing baby at the ceremony! (I didn't see you, afterall.)
    I am proud of Peter, too. He was a great anatomy lab partner!


  3. I love this story about your husband!!! I so needed to hear a story like this today! :) Congratulations!!!

  4. I never knew that about Peter, even more impressive! Congrats to the BOTH of you guys on this amazing accomplishment!!

    - April

  5. What an amazing post. Congratulations to Peter and to you too!!! I hope Charlotte is feeling better!

  6. Amazing! Like father, like daughter. Both have amazing strength, and so do you.

  7. Congratulations to your family (my husband graduated from Law school a few years ago (a minor feat compared to medical school) so I *know* it is the whole family who graduates, not just the student!)! Peter is an inspiration and his teachers are a motivation to me as an educator to do better. Thank you for such a happy story! And good luck on the next big adventure!