KUSA - Sometimes the expectations of the world demand things someone cannot deliver. Erin Doran understands.
Hers is a touching story about the love of a mother fighting to help her children overcome being labeled as "different."
The story will challenge anyone to reconsider their definitions of success.
Doran's stash of family memories is wonderful and complicated. Each framed picture on the wall takes her back to specific times. The toddlers at the pool or on their bikes don't seem to have a care in the world. Those burdens came when school started.
"I never dreamed that my kids would be in the box of the 'not so successful kids,' so that was really hard," she said.
Doran watched her sons hurting from comparisons, expectations, and labels as they struggled in traditional learning formats.
"I used to think that success was measured by a standardized test," Doran said.
The more her children fell short of the one dimensional measurements, the more frustrated and isolated they became. She felt more alone.
No one was talking about it. The only conversations she heard in the carpool line were about who was reading about their grade levels or what child was passing which milestone first. Doran wondered if anyone else was going through challenges or doubts.
What started as a journal entry evolved into a revelation; later a book.
"I wrote it in the middle of the night one night during a challenging time in our lives," Doran said.
She realized that no test can reveal things of even greater value.
"I know they have tremendous gifts and things to offer the world," Doran said.
She decided that the key was nurturing things that aren't in a standard curriculum. One person's full potential looks different than another. So why is this world so set on comparisons?
"We rely on the others to tell us what success is, but at some point as a mom you let go of all of that and say 'the others' can't influence me anymore," Doran said.
Her focus turned to raising her kids to be honest and full of character. Doran agrees that learning is always important but challenges the notion that it is just about facts. Learning about contributing, kindness, and tolerance, must be equally emphasized.
"Have you done the absolute best you can do that day? Then that is enough," Doran said.
Doran is now the voice she wished was out there for her.
"It's ok to be different, to struggle, and other parents go through it too," she said. "If you can walk through the fire and come out on the other side a better person, a person of more character, isn't that worth the struggle?"
Doran says the story will restore peace to those who will never stop fighting for the "underdogs" the love.
A portion of the book's proceeds go to a scholarship fund to benefit kids by giving them access to "Focus and Beyond." This natural program, developed by Boyd Schwartz, helps kids that are struggling at school and home reach their full potential.
Copies of A Mother's Love may be purchased for $10 by contacting Erin at LEC2@mindspring.com.
Click here for scholarship information.
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