The Magical Yet

I didn’t get my driver’s license until my 30s and after failing the final road test twice.

When I finally got it, it was a good reminder that some things that may seem out of reach at first may not always stay that way.

As a parent of a child with FASD, I often think and blog about growth mindset.

The program coordinator at SNAP, which the hubby, T and I are participating in this Spring, shared a great picture book called “The Magical Yet” that speaks about growth mindset.

It reminds me to focus on effort not perfection, on the long term not a moment in time, and on growing not being static.

Just because you can’t do it yet, doesn’t mean you can’t one day.

I’m also a pragmatist. For me, it’s important to temper this message with the reality that there are many things that each of us will simply not able to be good at – neurodiverse or not – and that’s ok.

We tell T the most important thing to do is to have an open mind, give everything a good try, and have fun.

For me, cooking was something I was never good at growing up but I now enjoy as a hobby and therapy – and it’s been fun to grow my skills in this area.

Mapo tofu is one my fave dishes to make. Seemed hard before but hooray for online videos.

For T, participation in school is often a challenge.

Thanks to support from his CYW, and solid effort from T himself, he’s made positive gains this year.

In his daily communications book, we now often see updates about him raising his hand.

Last Thursday, our long weekend got off to a great start when his CYW texted us a heartwarming video of him in dance class.

She said that dance may be in his future and based on how awesome he was, she may be on to something!

I feel proud about the gains he’s making with reading, printing, and math.

Two and even three digit addition, with carrying, seemed daunting to try with him a year ago.

T has also shown more interest in drawing – and I love how he sits quietly by the dining table with his sketchpad while I make dinner.

Reminds me of how I entertained myself as a kid on Friday evenings while Pa worked.

Ocean Spray did not pay for this post. I was just trying to take a discrete photo. 😆

I love seeing the greater detail in his art and more importantly, him having fun with it.

Characters from Sonic the Hedgehog

When we have our challenging moments with T, I remind myself about his many gains and to focus on the magical yet.

44 thoughts on “The Magical Yet

    1. Thanks Faith. I was gonna ask which subject you teach – I guess it’s not math! 😆 Math was always my favourite subject in school. I never did anything with it but it’s fun helping T develop skills in this area.

      1. I’ve had many English teachers open up my mind and imagination through literature. One of my favourite subjects too! 😊

  1. So…I always comment on your post through my phone and they don’t always go thru! Lol. Magical Yet! My son did this with 5th grade. I love it. So much hope! I love seeing T grow and flourish!

    1. Thanks Rebecca. No worries, I find WordPress glitchy sometimes too.

      Glad to hear your son got to do the book too. It’s a wonderful message that all kids need to hear! 🙏

    1. Thanks Gary. I can assure you I’m not always positive and have my share of sadness, anger, annoyance, despair, and impatience. But as you know, we somehow find a way to keep going on. 😊

  2. I love this. Happiness isn’t a destination it’s a journey. When I get complacent about my tasks I imagine how it would feel if it was the last time I would ever do it. In fact, I use this technique with everything I’m doing. It makes me more present and joyful in every situation. 😀

    1. Thank you for sharing that interesting thought. You’re right, when we take things for granted, that is a helpful frame of mind to reset the way we look at the things take can sometimes feel mundane. Being present brings more joy indeed!

    1. Thanks Vickie.

      The Mapo tofu I enjoy is made with minced pork but you can substitute the pork with shiitake mushrooms. There are many recipes but this is a site that I love:

      Rest assured it’s not intimidating and the results are so yummy and worth the effort. Good luck and enjoy!

  3. It can be tough to put yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new. There’s always a bit of fear of the unknown. But as you said, we’re not going to be good at everything, but we can at least make an effort to try. It’s a good way to figure out what you like and what you don’t like. I’m glad to hear that T is crushing it with participation this year, is making some serious gains, and is having fun while doing it! P.S That Mapo tofu looks amaaaazing.

    1. Thanks Linda. It can be hard as adults much less for kids so I feel both empathy and pride when T gives it his best. It’s been a harder school year but we’re proud of all the gains – and yes, the moments that he crushes it. 🙂

      Here’s the recipe I used for Mapo tofu. It’s fairly easy to make. Good luck and enjoy if you and K try it!

      1. It’s always good to focus on the positives 🙂

        Thanks for sharing the recipe. We’ll have to give this a whirl! I like that they’ve added some warnings about Sichuan peppercorns and the spiciness!

      2. It has a kick and you can adjust the heat per your comfort level. Sichuan peppercorns actually are not super spicy. They add a wonderful citrusy fragrance and taste and yes, they make the tongue tingle a bit too in a citrusy way. 🙂 Enjoy if you make it!

  4. I love that you always seem to look at the bright side of things even in the challenging situations T. Tell T what a great job he is doing in math, writing his numbers and drawing! He seems to really be taking off now.

    1. Thanks Diane! It’s been a harder school year so we take pride and celebrate when he has his gains and positive moments. One day, I’ll get him more into cooking too. He had his first full bowl of oatmeal this morning. Hope the switch from cereal will be ongoing! 🙂

    1. Thank you LaDonna! The participation really is a wonderful step as it’s a key part of school success and building confidence. I hope the momentum keeps up. 🙏

      It’s also very nice to hear from you. I miss your posts. Hope you and your family are doing well!

  5. I got my driver’s license at 22 in England after taking lessons for a year and a half. It was that strict of a test! You’re so right about growth. I remember wondering if I could ever be good enough to pass a driving test AND be a safe driver. This post was actually a good reminder of that after the accident because it really knocked my confidence even though I wasn’t driving. Heck, I talked to my former driving instructor and said, “I was safe… until now.” and she said, “I’m not going to let you think that! You ARE safe!” and she told me how proud she’s been of me driving for the last 10 years. Yep, we stayed in touch all this time. But anyway, your hook into the post was really inspring for me! So thank you!

    1. Thanks Claire. I’m glad it provided an inspiring reminder for you. For me, it reminded me as well of the need to overcome the fear we have, whether it’s from driving, about a child’s progress etc. and I agree with your driving instructor and glad she gave you that important reminder! 🙂

  6. The word yet has so much intention behind it Ab. It means you can look at where your family has been, how far you have all traveled and still know and look forward to the journey ahead. So many possibilities for everyone but especially T. There should never be any stopping him, only the opportunities to try and go as far as he wants. Love the encouragement to dance- that’s the best!

    1. Thank you Deb! I agree that I love the intention and the power behind the word as a tool for reflection and a tool to inspire future planning.

  7. Yay for T doing well in dance class! and for that delicious-looking mapo tofu you made! I wonder what T’s CYW has in her mind after seeing how awesome he was. It’s always a great thing when you know what you really enjoy doing, and to know that since early ages will probably be good for one’s future. By the way, that character on the right, is that Sonic?

    1. Thanks Bama! We’re lucky to have a super supportive CYW and I can tell she feels proud too of him. I do hope to try making laksa one day. It just seems like so much work. 😆 One day! And yup, it’s Sonic! 😊

  8. We often add “yet” to our sentences — but I hadn’t ever read the Magical Yet book. That is beautiful and brilliant. The growth mindset – SOOO important for life and I love how they personified the Yet. Wonderful. You’re right – there are some things that we won’t be good at and by now I know what some of those are for me. But for everything else, I love looking at the future – my kids and my own as all I haven’t learned yet.

    Congrats to T for reading, printing, math, dancing and drawing. And here’s to you and your hubby for being great parents NOW and better YET to come! 🙂 Love this inspiring and brilliant post! <3

    1. Thanks Wynne! I know you could relate to this as a mother, as a leader and as someone who is always seeking to grow and challenge herself. The Yet gives us permission to dream and the freedom to let go of mistakes and disappointments. And I love this book for reminding us of that.

      Hope you have a nice weekend ahead with the kids!

  9. A dancer, or maybe an accountant, since his math skills are definitely good! Or maybe a cartoonist! The sky is the limit … and, as you say, he must have fun doing whatever direction he ultimately chooses! He’s lucky to have two parents who care so much! The rest will happen.

    1. Thanks Jill. I’m not sure about Accountant but dancer and cartoonist would be so fun. I can live vicariously through him. 😆 I do hope the rest will happen Jill. I know you can relate but this special needs parenting truly is hard on some days. But these moments of Yets and Yeses do make it so worthwhile and rewarding.

      1. He’s better off to skip any notion of becoming an accountant anyway! I did that for decades and never felt fulfilled or proud of my career. I had other goals in mind early on, but alas, I had 3 children and no choice but to go where there were good-paying jobs. Ha ha … yes, you can live vicariously through T while he dances and you won’t have to break a leg that way! Yes, my friend, sometimes it IS hard … more often than not. But, that makes the rewards so much sweeter.

  10. I love how positive this post is. It’s heartwarming to see T grow and given the opportunities to explore his talents and interests in a calm manner. YOu can take full credit for this. Never mind failing your driving test twice, you ace parenting, which is much harder than driving ❤️

    1. Thanks Margie. I always appreciate your warm support. Funnily, actually not quite funnily, after posting this last night, we had quite the meltdown at bedtime. Just made me chuckle and be sober about the ups and downs of this journey. But all we can do is focus on the bright side! 🙂 Look forward to seeing those burros soon!

  11. I love this, Ab, and it make my heart soar to hear T is doing well in school, having fun dancing, and enjoying himself. 💕 I think a lot of credit goes to his loving and patient parents, as well as supportive teachers. It can so easy to get tangled up in the “not yet” and “not good enough” but, if we step back, we can often recognize the progress we’ve made and appreciate the strides we continue to make, even when feeling a bit discouraged.

    1. Thank you Erin! School is an up and down journey with T but the recent successes and ups have been so wonderful to experience and most importantly to see him experience. Because there are many days when it’s not fun or easy. I agree with you the support and the positive reinforcement and feedback are so important to help minimize the frustration and from feeling discouraged.

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