Saturday, October 1, 2011

Are You OK With Average?

This morning I told my husband something I had been thinking about for the last few weeks. Nothing outrageous or scandalous - but just an observation I made. Of course he thought I was crazy (nothing new there), but after letting it sink in for a little bit, he kind of agreed with me.

So this is what I said: "I don't think Deacon is going to be the sharpest knife in the drawer." GASP! Am I a parent who is actually admitting that their child may not be "gifted and talented" and on the early admission list for Mensa? Yes. Yes I am. And I am perfectly ok with that.

At only 3 months of age, I know it's a little premature to make such a sweeping assessment of my son. And to be honest, I can't really tell you exactly why I feel this way. But I can just tell. Call it mother's intuition - but I just feel like my son is going to be of average intelligence. Not necessarily slow or having a learning disability or anything like that - I think he's going to just be a normal, average kid.

On the other hand, I think Miss Paige is one smart cookie. Not a genius or anything that extreme, but I think she's pretty bright. And maybe that is why I'm able to identify the differences between Paige and Deacon - Lil D doesn't seem as aware as Paige was at this age. It's ok - you can gasp again : ) Every parenting book says you shouldn't compare your children, but the truth is the truth.

And I'm actually 100% ok with the idea of being average. I've always been a major over-achiever. Not a perfectionist, but I would challenge myself with being better, faster, smarter than the last time I did something. It was an internal competition - could I do this? Could I get an A on that test without studying? Can I write this 5 page paper in just an hour or two? And I could - so I did. But other than the feeling of satisfaction with myself, I didn't really care about some of the other stuff that came along with being bright. Honors classes were TERRIBLE! Not because they were difficult, but they put a huge amount of unnecessary pressure on kids (in my opinion). They also created an invisible wall between the "smart kids" and the "regular kids". And to be honest, taking honors courses got me a whole lot of nothing when it came time to go to college (except the desire to just be "normal"). So because of my experiences, I've always hoped my children would just be normal... I feel like there is a lot less pressure to be perfect and a lot more room for self-exploration. They have opportunities to make mistakes without feeling like they let the entire universe down. They can get a B and not beat themselves up.

Now - that's not to say I'm going to let me kids not give everything their best effort. They better bust their little butts to succeed. But the definition of success doesn't have to be outrageous - it can just be normal : )

PS: Deacon - if you are reading this 20 years from now, don't be mad! You could become a rocket scientist or be inspired by your surgery and become a pediatric neurosurgeon for all I know. But if you aren't - and you are just a normal guy going to a normal college and like doing normal, average things - know that I am super proud of you - just for being YOU! XOXOXOX! Mommy : )