Friday, May 26, 2006

Burden of Being Smart

Last night, M joined me while walking Daisy after picking up M from the barn where she spent some time training Corey more.   She was, understandably, disappointed that her shadowing a high schooler wasn't going to happen today after all.  (They'd tried to pull up her name in the database, um, she hasn't attended public schools, her name won't be there.   So I was asked where she attends, they're familiar with that school, great, but gee, she's not been accepted into that magnet program yet?  Well, no.   They did NOT like that she's not even in 8th grade yet, never mind that she hadn't yet applied for that magnet program, been tested, AND been accepted into it.   That seems backwards to me.   But, hard to argue the grade level.   There was no edgeroom with her lower grade level (which I implied was 7th grade tho didn't actually state that, for that'd be lying.......). 

Lovely day.   We sat on the grass for a bit.   "I don't want to be so smart.  I don't know what I'm supposed to do.  I don't want to do (said a few things) and find the cure for cancer."   "Well, honey, then you won't.  I don't know what God has in mind for you."   It was probably wise of me NOT to have gone into the whole "utilizing the gifts and talents God's given you" deal.    "But, what if you're in a hospital with cancer, and I'm in there and somehow happen to find something that is the cure."   "Well, then, you'll have saved me:)"   "But I don't want to save you."   Explaining not so much saving me, but solving the cancer problem, isn't what she wants to do.   I did, however, try to tell her that she has many interests, and she'd be pursuing something she enjoys.   Talking about that.

I've had some intelligent relatives.   Some were scallop shuckers, or piano players, and gravel truck drivers, and some taught at colleges, or wrote, and had degrees.   I've been in the "Gifted and Talented" track at school.   Being smart is not enough for a person to be "successful" in life.   I'm not just talking social skills, either, tho that helps a lot.   Megan, thankfully, has those down.   It probably helped that she talked very well very early, and how I and those at her school interact with her.   Even a fellowHS youth advisor recently assumed M was joining high school next year, as M is so mature.   I'm not even talking common sense, either, because there are certainly very intelligent people who seem to lack basic common sense/smarts sometimes.   Ones emotionally intelligence, and ones confidence, and perhaps even ones spiritual intelligence, are all very critical.   (Drug use and suicides don't really go with being happily successful.)  All in time for her, and yes, I want that rounded persona for M, smart and confident enough to go for it, whatever "it" is that makes her happy, with compassion.

She knew not to "brag" yesterday with the other kids in her class.   Two of the boys her age/grade whom she's friends with, however, brought up the assessment tests.   Originally, she said only that she did much better than she expected.   One of the boys said that was true for him, too, and that he'd gotten a 90 for math.   M responded that she had, too, much to his surprise "as he knows Md and I are always complaining about how much we hate math."   She feels equal to the boys, usually, including physically.   The boys talked more, this same one saying he got a 99 on one, so M did respond that she thinks she got a 99 on three.   I told her it's not bragging if she's asked specifically.   I also told her that she shouldn't feel she must hide it or be embarrassed by it, just don't brag.  Fine line I'm sure.

I thought back to when M was in preschool.   A coworker accountant type has a boy the same age as M, and they're in the same grade.   He used to sit closer to me, and we'd chat about our children.   One day, I relayed to him that I was excited because she seemed to have started grasping beginning mathematical concepts.   We'd come home the night before, and M had said something akin to, "Mommy, a hamburger is just a hamburger, but a cheeseburger is a hamburger and a cheeseburger."   The coworker was surprised that M could speak in complete sentences, and that well, and make sense.   I stopped commenting on specifics after that.   His boy is often in summer schools and struggles, so we talk generic school stuff now. 

God has a purpose for us all.   May all of our children find theirs:)

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