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Reach for the Stars | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Reach for the Stars

“Even with major interventions, your pregnancy is high risk of having a bad outcome. You should have an abortion,” I was told by my obstetrician 18 years ago during my pregnancy with my son. Richard and I immediately told the doctor that wasn’t an option.

I also told the doctor I was a mama bear who would do what it took to take care of our baby.  And then I went home and cried.

Richard had a dream during that pregnancy where people were telling us all the challenges we faced, and he told them, “I’ll stand up for my son.”

We believed in our son and his chances, before he was born. We changed doctors, and by the grace of God, both my son and I survived. There aren’t medical explanations for our survival other than Divine Providence.

Flash to three years after his birth, when he was diagnosed with significant speech impediments. We were told he might need 6 years of speech therapy to clearly communicate with others. I watched in frustration when he tried to play “Duck Duck Goose” with other preschoolers, even though he could say neither duck nor goose. Doubting Thomas friends and some relatives tried to tell us to accept our son’s “limitations.”

We didn’t believe the can’ts. We saw his potential instead. He and I worked together to practice what he did in his speech therapy, and he overcame those challenges in 2 years, instead of the predicted 6. As we worked to help him overcome his challenges, we also worked to nurture his strengths.

When he showed interest in robotics and computers, I helped our county start a 4-H robotics project and founded a 4-H Tech Club to teach kids about science and give him more science opportunities.

Flash to his freshman year of high school when he won a state 4-H demonstration contest in mechanical arts as he demonstrated how to build his own computer. This year, he led a team of younger 4-H Tech Club members as they gave a presentation on computer hardware at the Indiana 4-H Foundation’s Annual Meeting, as 1 of 4 clubs included in a state-wide science showcase.

And the boy who couldn’t say duck or goose has grown into a recreation leader extraordinaire, working to develop inclusive games for kids. He’s attended recreation conferences, serves on the board of an annual recreation workshop, has planned recreation activities for camps and retreats, and recently led a workshop to teach 4-H leaders how to introduce new games to their clubs.

So much for the kid they were concerned wouldn’t be able to talk clearly.

Today is his 17th birthday. If I knew where that doubting doctor was who urged us to push the panic button 18 years ago, I would show her the article in the paper last week where he was named a Star Student for our area. I would share with her that the high risk pregnancy resulted in a young man who started working pollinating corn in the summer when he was 15, has worked ever since, and who plans to work 2 different jobs, 6 days a week this summer – who used his earnings to first buy his own computer parts to build his own computer and then to buy his first car.

As Mary Kay Ash once said, “When children know their mothers believe in them, they develop self-confidence. On the other hand, if a parent repeatedly tells a child that he’s shy, he’s stupid, he’s mean or he’s going to grow up to be a bank robber, he’ll probably develop that quality or bring that vision to pass.”

In life, avoid the Debbie Downers who dwell in the can’ts and probably won’ts. Instead seek the people who see your potential and inspire you to reach for it. Encourage others to set high goals and reach them.

“If you shoot for the moon and you fall short you land among the stars.” - Mary Kay

So what’s stopping YOU from shooting for the moon and encouraging those around you to do the same?

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