Carter wrote this the other night. He couldn’t sleep, so he wrote this little manifesto and showed it to me in the morning.

(He does have lots of amagenashen!)

Now, I don’t know what your thoughts are when you read this, but these are the thoughts of the mom of a dyslexic eleven-year-old boy who has never in his life written anything not required of him.

YAY!

That was my first thought. And then, He wrote something without being asked. And each line starts on the left side of the page and tracks to the right. And not a single letter is written backwards. And he has written out his beautiful eleven-year-old thoughts, straight from his heart, and he wanted me to know what they are.

I can’t tell you how speshel this little piece of writing is to me. I will keep it forever. To remind me of my sweet boy, and to remind me of what’s important. Of what success really means.

How to really measure success?

The only way to really measure success is to not compare your’s to anyone else’s.

If I compared my son’s writing to many other children his age, he’d come up short. He’d not measure up very well.

But, compared to where he was at a year ago, he’s made great strides. He’s been very successful. He’s come such a long way, and I couldn’t be happier.

I mean, how can you not love a kid who devotes his life to God and fun!

So here I am, a slipshod housekeeper and mediocre cook, trying to love my home this month. It would be easy for me to compare myself to someone else and feel less-than. To feel that she is better than me. But, Carter has taught me so much about what it means to accomplish great things.

So, instead of less, I feel success.

Don’t measure your middle by someone else’s end.

Donald Miller

I am tidying up the living room, picking up all manner of the day’s accumulated clutter. Everything from discarded socks to scattered books to music paraphernalia. Including a violin case. And when I pick it up, I see the “note to self” that Colton has stuck to its side.

This is my sweet second son. The one to whom some things come so easily. And to whom some things are so difficult. It is a miracle this child learned to read. And now he is my voracious, can’t-put-it-down, stay-up-until-the-wee-hours-finishing-that-book boy.

I remember the struggle. He would try so hard and he wanted it so badly. And finally, with the help of a specialist, he got it. The gift of reading.

But the challenges he deals with show up every day in all kinds of ways. Math is a chore. Fractions, telling time, abstract concepts – its like a tornado of swirling, barely understandable numbers. Things that are in his brain one day are lost the next. Items that are in his hand one minute are lost the next.

His brain works differently than most brains work. He has to work harder than most people have to work.

But this unique brain of Colton’s is also why he is so creative and artistic. He sees the world from a special, gifted viewpoint. He loves beauty and nature in an intense and committed way. He is passionate about the things he loves, his art and his pets and his books. ┬áHe loves to learn, whether it is history or botany or archaeology. He is a devoted National Geographic reader. His Christmas list includes such items as books on medieval weaponry.

Colton understands what it means to work harder, to try again, to wake up in the morning and give it another shot. He’s had to learn it.

Which is why his little don’t give up note touched me so deeply. Because he doesn’t.

What a teacher he is.