Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Ordinary Child

I have an ordinary child.  There I said it - she's O R D I N A R Y.  She's very smart, she's funny, she's definitely odd (we even call her F.O.G. for Fairly Odd Girl).  She's a sweet kid but damn it she's ORDINARY!

Yes she was reading by the time she started kindergarten.  But that's because both my husband and I read anything and everything so it was natural she would too.  At one point in our very sad school district she was a gifted student but really it was hard to take it serious when the person who made that decision wasn't exactly the most organized or brightest fish in the sea - there is a possibility she meant another child and was just confused.  So my child is ordinary.  She really is.

Does this upset me?  Well no, she's only eleven and should we put more pressure on a child to succeed if we label them as being gifted or special or anything else?  I bring this up because this pass week I was about to blow a gasket if one more person went on and on about how gifted their child was.  While I'm happy you think your little Einstein or Marie Curie is the brightest bulb in the chandelier I really don't need to hear it or read it day after day after day.  I see your kid over there eating a crayon so it's hard for me to take what you say seriously!

I really think most of those who boast are full of crap!  I've seen some of your children and believe me the kid wouldn't know the difference between reading a book right side up or upside down.  He/She thinks they're reading and that's great but to hear you all speak you'd think they will be world leaders by the time they're ten.  It's ok to admit you have an ordinary kid.  Try it!

My child does some pretty cool things but then I'm almost positive most eleven year old's come up with some pretty cool things if left alone with cardboard, string, and a roll of tape.  I find it hard to believe so many parents have gifted children.  Your kid is three and plays Vivaldi on the trombone.  Yeah OK.  Mine wears two different color socks and can hum the theme to Mr. Sunshine for three hours straight!

I'm sure a lot of people feel their kids are the best but not all of you have child prodigies.  What you do have are some pretty terrific kids who are going to be embarrassed and pissed off once they find out they are not special, not gifted, they are ordinary kids.

What's so bad about being ordinary?  Isn't ordinary part of being extraordinary?  We all can't be world leaders but we can help lead the world.

Ponder that one.



jeberinoz said...

I loved what you said. Being ordinary in today's world is the hardest thing to achieve. And god knows how hard it is to achieve that ideal in your own children . Well done, you said it and you said it with such love and sincerity. I thought I had the most exceptional child until she began school at four. Our bubble popped once we ventured outdoors from our four walls where our little princess reigned supreme. She was our shinning star . Our gold to cherish forever. Such is the pain of life when you realise this is not all true. However, it is the hardest lessons to integrate but once you have that can be the best gift you can give your child. The psychic space to explore themselves and what makes them who they are. The freedom to just be who they want to be without parental judgement or unconscious disapproval.

Unknown said...

Its a tightrope on a good day. But as long as they are not horribly damaged I see it as a win!