Years ago, when someone from my Women's Tefillah Group asked me if my eldest would layn (read) Torah at her Bat Mitzvah, I responded, "ask her."
I knew that the desire to learn to read Torah had to come from my daughter and not from me.
To my surprise, and pleasure, my eldest chose to read. She was so excited! She had six grammar lessons before she even began learning the trope (cantilation) and, she looked forward to every lesson! In the end, she read six out of seven aliyot. I read the fourth aliyah, which she did not learn. It was a great way for me to be involved in her Bat Mitzvah.
When my youngest daughter also expressed interest in layning her parsha, I felt so happy and proud.
I would have liked to teach her, but from my experiences with my eldest and my middle, I already knew that I just did not have the energy, or the discipline, to teach my youngest properly. My good friend, IS, who taught me to layn back when we were still in college, taught my daughter.
When my daughter discovered how challenging learning to layn is, she expressed doubt that she would be able to learn at all, much less learn the entire Torah reading.
We assured her that whatever she did would be good enough.
A few weeks ago, I realized that she had really mastered the skill of learning to layn, and suggested to her that she probably could learn the entire parsha. She did not reject the idea, but doubted she could do it.
I will never forget the moment when she came to tell me, with her eyes shining bright and a huge smile on her face, that she knew it all!
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,