You’ve been here so long that I can’t remember life without you. We’ve had a tumultuous relationship, haven’t we? I haven’t always appreciated your presence, and god knows I’ve wanted to send you back more than once. But it hasn’t all been challenge and chaos, and it’s time I let you know just what about you I enjoy and respect.
I never expected to be where I am today, and it’s because of you, Giftedness. As I write this I’m sitting at our gifted homeschool co-op, with parent conversations on twice-exceptionality and gluten-free baking and “when is that Shakespeare field trip?” as my soundtrack. I never expected to be homeschooling, and certainly not because of you (and your sidekick 2e). Weren’t gifted kids supposed to excel in school? Weren’t they supposed to be the leaders, the high achievers, the Valedictorians? My life has been enriched because of your presence, Giftedness. I’ve learned more about learning than I ever did as an education student or teacher. I’ve learned that intelligence is not what a person produces, that quirky is not a pathology, and that a bored gifted child is something to prevent, because hooboy…
You’ve forced me to be a better parent, Giftedness, to ignore the “experts” and follow my child’s lead. I’m not saying it was easy, or ever will be, but when I remember to toss out the “shoulds” and work side by side with my boys instead of forcing something upon them we’re all a lot happier. You made me search out answers that worked for us, not just generic parenting advice, because these kids aren’t in any manuals. Like the nurses said over and over in childbirth classes…the babies haven’t read the books and don’t care. Multiply that by infinity and that’s parenting gifted and 2e kids. Parenting by trial and error and prayer, because parenting books just don’t apply.
Giftedness, you’ve made me a writer, something I didn’t see coming. I started this blog as a way to just, I dunno, putz around with words, and as time went on and I griped more and more about your starring role in our lives, suddenly I was a writer. People read what I wrote! I had a book! Something I wanted to be, long before I became a flutist, actually came true. Now I have a second book in the works and a few brain tickles for some fiction. I don’t know how you managed that, but I thank you for it.
Because of you, you unexpected gift I’d often like to return, I’ve found a passion for supporting other parents as we all flail in the dark together trying to find answers and help. We all just want to be recognized and heard and acknowledged, something that doesn’t happen terribly often, because society thinks we’re bragging about you, when in reality we’re just trying to get through the day. And besides, talking about what my kid can do isn’t bragging, it’s just talking about my kid like other parents do…with maybe some code words thrown in so I can find other parents who “get it.” But I can’t help but be grateful for your arrival, for I’ve met so many wonderful people because of you. I’ve found a passion for support and connection with others that I hope to continue.
Life with you has been anything but easy, Giftedness, but I can’t imagine our lives without you. Just as you are the wiring in an individual, you are also the electric connection within my family. If you were missing, we’d be vastly different, and as I like who we are and how we relate to the world (at least now…not so much a few years ago…), I appreciate your
crazy chaotic oftentimes difficult role in our lives. I’m not going to send you back, but I’m also not at the point of sending a gushing thank you note either. The last decade has been challenging, painful, entertaining, humbling, frightening, fraught with anxiety, and overflowing with laughter to keep from screaming. It’s not what I expected, it’s not what I wanted, but it’s what has made me and my family into what we are today. You be you, Giftedness, just go easy on us all for awhile.
Love, kisses, and Malbec,
Today’s post was part of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum February Blog Hop, where bloggers near and far discuss the unexpected gifts of giftedness. Please pour your favorite wine and visit the other writers. Unless it’s early in the day, then I suggest your choice of coffee or tea.