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Feb 22 2016

{GHF Blog Hop} A love letter to giftedness

{GHF Blog Hop} A Love Letter to GiftednessDear Giftedness,

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,

Jen

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12747959_10156598315855002_7041565823761907458_oToday’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.

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  1. The Cardinal House

    Oh wow. I LOVE the letter format Jen!

    THIS: 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…

    AND THIS: 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.

    AND THIS: 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.”

    So grateful for the community we have that encourages gifted learning, gifted parenting, and gifted support. 🙂

  2. Cait @ My Little Poppies

    Love and kisses and Malbec… ha ha!! Love it!

  3. Chavva

    The letter format is awesome! I love what you wrote about ignoring the experts and following your child’s lead.
    Chavva recently posted…Asynchronous BeautyMy Profile

  4. Nikki Linn

    “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…)” <— So true. Although some days I daydream about the easy days I'd have with two typical kids, life would be incredibly different, and dare I say – boring. The rough patches are discouraging, but I feel so fortunate to have found a community that gets it and shares the hope for the future!

    1. Jen

      That’s just it…it’d be kinda boring. That said, I could use a little boring.

  5. Paula Prober

    Lovely, Jen. Lovely.
    Paula Prober recently posted…You’re Not Crazy. You’re Gifted.My Profile

    1. Jen

      Many thanks, Paula.

  6. Gail Post, Ph.D.

    Beautifully written post. Such a wonderful description of self-discovery, along with what you’ve learned from your children.

    1. Jen

      Thank you, Gail!

  7. Celi Trepanier

    “Parenting by trial and error and prayer, because parenting books just don’t apply.” <—Wait, you left out the wine here–you have to parent with wine!

    Jen, your posts always put a smile on my face, and this one is one of the best! Thanks!
    Celi Trepanier recently posted…Comically GiftedMy Profile

    1. Jen

      🙂 At this point, wine goes without saying. LOL!

  8. Jo Freitag

    Oh, I love this Love Letter to Giftedness, Jen!

  9. Lisa Swaboda

    If we could only write a letter to giftedness, we’d have SO much to say! Love the novelty of this one and yes, giftedness really is our friend-ever attached and more valued as time goes on.
    Lisa Swaboda recently posted…You Can’t Return Your GiftMy Profile

    1. Jen

      Actually, if I really COULD write a letter to giftedness, trust me, it would probably be a little more profane. LOL! 😉

  10. Lori

    As a Mother of 3 different unique and beautiful girls, you are truly right when you say the parenting books are almost useless. It is much better to listen to your child. #2 and #3 girls are gifted similar but both unique in their own ways. This letter is absolutely beautiful. There are many times on this roller coaster ride that I really yearn for boring.
    I never really understood why it is ok for a parent of a “Normal” child to talk about their accomplishments, but it’s bragging when i talk about my children’s “gifted” accomplishments. I don’t think my child is perfect, she has her faults. I will go along supporting her and praising her and being PROUD of her.

    1. Jen

      When I started following our son’s lead things improved. Now I’m taking a little more of the reins, because I think right now he needs a little more direction; then I’ll follow his lead again. A 2e parenting tango of sorts. And how many analogies can I throw in here? LOL!

  1. Article: “A love letter to giftedness” By Jen, From ‘Laughing at Chaos’ Blog

    […] honest and humorous piece, “A love letter to giftedness“, by Jen from the ‘Laughing at Chaos‘ […]

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