Life is Complicated

I'm trying to teach Jada how to read, which is hard to do given her communicative delays. But we're making progress every day. What's frustrating is the irregularity of English spelling. She knows what sounds all the letters make, as well as what sounds common combinations of letters make; but sometimes you just have to throw all that out and memorize whole words. Try sounding out, for example, the following common words: two, sure, could, laugh.

It is a metaphor for life in general: for a parent trying to raise kids, it's more complicated than you want it to be. Aaron and I were coming home from school one evening and were approached by a panhandler, who had a sad story to tell to explain her need for a dollar-sixty. Without being rude but neither giving off that I wanted to extend this conversation, I declined her request and headed off with Aaron. Aaron, ever the empathetic one, declared to me, "she's sad," and then, after thinking about it, added, "she needs to go night-night."

Oh, Aaron, your sadness may be easily remedied by a good night's sleep; but hers will likely not. I was at a loss to know what to tell Aaron in response. Life is complicated, and my kids are simple. I hope Amy and I have what it takes to prepare them well.

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