My Unicorn

Today was an emotional day. It was the last day of school. This is by far one of my favorite times of year. I get to spend time with the children and….YES, sleep in. It’s also one of my favorite times of year because I get to enjoy my eldest. She’s 11 and this is suppose to be her last year in elementary, next year going to 6thgrade. However, I’m not sure if that’s going to be the case with her. My “twin” is a special needs student, which I’ll have to explain more in detail later. The short version, she has a developmental delay, ADD/ADHD, as well as some minor physical issues. Looking at her, she appears to be a typical (slightly taller) eleven years old. She’s special, very special…..

This year has been extremely difficult for us with the mandatory state testing as well as normal pre-teen attitude. My twin isn’t very concerned with academics. In fact I would say she has absolutely no interest in anything concerning learning. I understand this isn’t a fair assumption and that it may not seem very positive but completely my view. I’ve tried everything I could think of to get her interested and motivated to learn. It’s hard for me. It’s hard on her. Nothing seems to work consistently.


So here we are, at the 5thgrade graduation ceremony as I wait anxiously for my daughters name to be called, I get a huge lump in my throat. It dawns on me that I’ve been comparing all the other children’s achievement with my child’s accomplishments. For 30 minutes I’ve listen to children in her class receive awards for advance math and reading scores, a/b honor roll, most improved, even some for just meeting standards. My daughter’s name was called…. She received a certificate for improving in Science and for participating in a cooking activity at school.



I was pissed! For about 15 minutes I was pissed. “Improving” in science.  No one else got a science award. Science??? It’s like they just made something up. I thought she deserved something greater. I know the progress she’s made. This year alone with all the many challenges we faced, as a family was enough for her to just give up.  She looked a little confused at first. As she walked across the stage and received the folder with her certificate. I could tell she was trying to force a smile but then we locked eyes, she lit up. She was proud as she opened her folder to actually see a certificate. She was simply happy with receiving some type of recognition.


I am proud of her. Unfortunately, I can’t help my feelings sometimes. It’s hard for me to accept that no matter how hard she may work, in some one else’s eyes it may not be good enough. She didn’t pass her State testing the first time and we’re currently waiting on the results from the re-test. It’s a possibility that she will have to spend an additional year in Elementary. But I am proud of her. I am proud of her for accomplishing so much with all types of odds against her. I wish that I could get a do-over for the award ceremony. Maybe I’ll make a few of my own certificates for her. I need her to understand how Great she is.  I hope she never question if she makes me proud. She’s so loving, patient, kind, helpful, forgiving, a big ball of joy. Her presence is soothing and although she may be going through a mild tween stage, her spirit is so innocent pure. She’s probably the happiest person in our family.  My twin is easy going, never one to complain. She’s a unicorn in a family of donkeys (because we act like it sometimes) and has managed to stay that way, of course I’m proud of her.

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