The other day, while waiting for my Office Max copy order, I recognized an older woman standing next to me as the mother of a former neighbor. I smiled and reintroduced myself. She quickly returned the greeting and asked if I was the homeschool mom with all the kids on that particular street. Guilty.
She began to tell me about how she often takes care of her two grandsons and to ask me a little bit about how I taught my children to read. Thinking she was interested in teaching her grandsons, I asked their ages.
"Oh, it's not for them." she replied, "They're 6 and 7 and already reading very well. It's for my daughter, Lisa. When my grandsons come over, they often do their school work and Lisa wants to join in but can't because she doesn't know how to read. I think she's finally ready and I want to teach her. Do you think it's possible?"
I paused, not knowing exactly how to answer her. Spying an opportunity to break into the conversation, my four year old began to chatter away on how she was learning to read too. While I wondered what to say, the Scripture verse "with God all things are possible" popped into my head.
"Yes, I think you can."
Using the back side of an Office Max bag, I jotted down the first few lessons of Alpha-Phonics from memory along with its title and my phone number. Her confidence seemed to increase but she still seemed hesitant, "I'm not a teacher. Are you?"
"No. The only children I've taught to read were my own and it was all on-the-job training." I gave her some more tips. My daughter kept trying to interject with details as well.
"Do you think it'll take very long?"
I chuckled. "You've waited this long for Lisa to get to this point, what's the rush? Be patient, take all the time you need, and enjoy the moment." She grinned.
This precious mother reminded me of so many new homeschool moms that I meet who are excited and anxious for the day their children finally learn to read; only this mother has waited a lot longer than most.
Lisa is 48 and has Down Syndrome.
As we walked out of the store, she raised her hand to the sky and said, "God has finally answered my prayer. You are the first person I've met who thinks I can actually do this."
I'm not really sure who was more inspired as we both drove away.