August 9, 2013
Gifted. Not always a gift.
We chose to make it into a life lesson), reading (as there is no such thing as too much reading) and he is now finished the first book of the Lord Of The Rings (made my geeky heart swell with pride), and the Bond 11 verbal & nonverbal booklets, because they will teach him to think in different ways than he is taught in school, and we'll get advancement and challenge but without teaching him secondary school material. It has not been easy, and today, after I thought we've made excellent progress, I heard the sentence I never thought I'd hear from him "I am not good enough". Ah, the parental guilt reared its ugly head. Those nagging questions that are there all the time started screaming at me. Did I push too much? Did I try to reach past his limit? Why do I do that? Why can't I leave him alone and let him cruise through school? It's because I secretly am One Of Those Parents. You know, the ones that stand behind their children when they are photographed to the newspapers with the headline "smarter than Einstein". I push because I want to showoff my child. And now I pushed too hard and I broke his spirit. His love of learning. He will hate me forever.
What do I do now? How do you recover from a sentence like that? How do you make someone understand that the fact that they are better than good enough doesn't mean they don't have to work hard? Should we let him quit or not?
Not. of course not. Because if we let him quit, what will we be teaching him? How will that help his self-esteem? How is it even possible that he has low self-esteem? We talked and we talked and we talked, we explained all the things we explained a thousand times before. But it's still a very fine line we walk with him, trying to teach him that while he has to try, he doesn't have to get a 100% right, and it's okay to fail, but that you should never let failure be the endnote, you never give up. Yeah, I know it's a tough lesson, full of conflicting messages and hard life choices.
Being gifted is not always a gift. I look at Ron and I see he has a very hard burden to carry, one that doesn't let him rest even for a second, one that no matter how hard we try will never let him have a normal childhood, one that defines who he is. One that he loves and hates at the same time.