where wildly different is perfectly normal
{GHF Blog Hop} I wouldn’t have believed you
{GHF Blog Hop} I wouldn’t have believed you

{GHF Blog Hop} I wouldn’t have believed you

{GHF blog hop} I wouldn't have believed you

I can’t believe I’m saying this, I really can’t.

It gets better, parents. I hardly believe it myself.

•The infant who didn’t sleep through the night with any regularity has become the teenager who easily sleeps around the clock.
•That crazy active toddler who ran around investigating how everything worked and demanded scientifically accurate bedtime stories has morphed into the kid who disassembles computers and hacks them back together into machines that not only work but do things they couldn’t originally do.
•The boy who would practically climb the walls has matured into a young adult who recognizes the effect certain foods has on him and monitors what he eats on his own. Mostly.
•The kid who used to have such sensory issues that socks were only forced when there was snow on the ground, that cutting fingernails required two grown adults and bribery, that regular squishings between large pillows was needed for daily function, that occupational therapy was a line-item in the budget for what seemed like years, is now a teen who recently jumped from a pontoon boat into a lake and swam to shore. Repeatedly, and of his own accord. Let it be known that I’d rather be zombie chow than swim in a lake.
•The child who suffered from such school-related anxiety that he once had a full-on anxiety attack in an elementary school hallway has flourished as a homeschooler, and was recently featured in a full page Chicago newspaper spread and online video interview on his self-taught tech prowess. Said video interview went on to win an award last month. (And for the record, I have no freaking idea where “Jenny” came from; I haven’t been a Jenny for 25 years).
•The son whose body was so out-of-whack that he didn’t gain a pound for four years and fell off the growth chart has gained close to 14 pounds in the last five months because of holistic medicine and the previously mentioned newly found ability to monitor his food sensitivities. I’ve never been so glad to drop so much coin at Costco for food.

If you had told me at any critical and stressful point in the last 13 years that these things would improve, I wouldn’t have believed you. In fact, I probably would have bludgeoned you with a shoe as I sobbed from exhaustion and frustration. I’m sure that if you told me tomorrow that homeschooling will improve and I won’t regret it and in the long run it will have been the best thing for him and me I would be searching for a stiletto with one hand and a box of tissues with the other.

Blogger, believe thyself.

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you know that Andy has been a parenting challenge from Day One. You also know that’s the first time I’ve used his name rather than his initial. But I’m going to tell you, right here and right now, that it’s gotten better. The teen years are upon us and I know they won’t be easy. But the last 13 years, those long years I was convinced would either kill me or leave me brain-damaged, have gotten better. I enjoy my sons more now than I ever have. They are growing into funny, fun to be around people…at least when I don’t want to strangle them for incessant meme-quoting, Minecraft-talking, or general bickering. They are still kids, you know.

It gets better. I never would have believed it.



Today’s post was part of the July Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog hop, on the topic of gifted parenting. This blog hop coincides…kinda…with the annual Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted conference, which will be held in San Jose, California next week. GHF is a sponsor of the SENG conference this year, and we hope to see many of you there. FB Blog Hop July med


  1. Jen,

    Andy is so lucky to have a strong and mucho-humorous mom like you! It definitely does take both strength and humor to parent gifted children … especially the ones that take you on that seemingly-endless roller coaster ride from hell 🙂

    Love it!


  2. QH

    That is fabulous!! I hope you are given yourself many pats on the back (or chocolate or wine or whatever) because YOU DID THAT. Without you, it wouldn’t have happened.

    (And I’m with you on the lake thing. Lakes are gross! Fish poop! Ah, I can’t even think about it! I’d rather swim in the shark infested Pacific–the part of the Pacific of my youth, not where I live now, because hypothermia and riptides–than a lake.)

  3. Becky Alexander

    We’re in the “two steps forward, two steps back” stage. Just when I THINK I’m getting things under control, something crashes. And it’s like “Whack a Mole”. I get two or three of the kiddos to a happy place (or at least a somewhat stable place), and somebody else is having a crisis. We THOUGHT we had kiddo #2 in a perfect environment, (an early, out-of-state college that is supposed to be geared toward gifted kids), and he’s refusing to go back. Leaving us with a 17 year old, PG, high school dropout. And kid #4, who turned 10 yesterday, and is thriving since we started homeschooling last year, is making noises about wanting to go back to school. Not either of his old schools, a new one, where things will be better (). He HATES school, always has, and acts out with all sorts of stress behaviors when attending (that have all disappeared since we started homeschooling), and he wants to go BACK?

    Thanks for the encouragement – I could REALLY use it this week! (and yes, we’re seeking counseling, for them AND for us!)

  4. Erin

    ❤️ I have twin boys who are 7. I can relate so closely to your descriptions and my current fears for them are recognized very deeply in this post……So. Overwhelmed. We are most days. So accomplished each day, yet unfulfilled. Proud, yet so terrified. Part wishing we weren’t so different, part incredibly grateful we are. People told me during the infancy, caring for twins would get easier, and it did. It will get easier, raising the gifted. Yes, I trust it will. Thank you, Jen. ❤️

  5. Celeste

    This is good!
    This is really good to hear. I have to believe it will (eventually) be true for us too. I think I can see flickers of light ahead, in my child’s evolving personality. Ditto it’s homeschooling that’s giving her space to thrive. According to an older friend (who I rely on for sitting), believes the girl needs to go to school “to learn to conform”… that ridiculous concept gives me more determination than ever!
    Thanks for posting the good news… we all need some 🙂

  6. It will get even better (well, maybe not till after the teen years). Issues will change and teens will be teens, but it is extraordinary when you can share a meal and discuss important things, intellectual things, change-how-they-see-the- world things. AND … no matter what … it will all have been worth it <— write it down (you can take that to the bank). #youcanthankmelater #mynextblogpost

  7. Pingback: It's all about connection - Laughing at Chaos

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