I’m not defined by one piece of me

I don’t often talk about one aspect of my sons, but I will today. I was over at The Dolly Mama’s site this morning and reading and commenting on her most recent post. I found myself writing way more than I typically would on a comment. Her post about her feelings of her worth hit me on so many levels. I found myself writing this post in my head… so here it is!  Thanks for the motivation to write this!

Something you may or may not know about my sons is that they are both highly gifted intellectually. Both we tested between kindergarten and first grade and put into their school’s gifted program. (we just redid this process to get them into the gifted program here at their new school)

Both of my boys taught themselves to read around the age of 4. They are well read, and have been for years. They use this reading to push forward their knowledge base. They are working on above grade level reading and math, and enjoy higher level thinking projects.

Blake learns facts and sucks up these facts to spew later. Colby is more of a big picture learner. He sees things in ways that no one else does, but can explain in a way that makes you say “Why didn’t I think of that”.Blake can’t see outside the box in his learning. He is very literal and struggles to master implied learning processes. Colby doesn’t know a box should exist and doesn’t enjoy mastering facts.

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But talking about what makes them gifted isn’t what this post is about. What Dolly Mama’s post got me thinking about was the things that Richard and I do for our sons to help them with life. Both boys have been in sports, participated in musical theater, join various clubs at school and are encouraged to find avenues of enjoyment.

We spent a lot of time when they were younger helping them realize they didn’t have to be perfect. That they didn’t have to get a 100 on learning activity in school. When we went to Blake’s most recent parent/teacher conference his math teacher couldn’t believe that Blake was ok with getting high 80s on his tests and wasn’t pushing to get perfect scores. Richard and I realized we had done our jobs. Blake would get so angry with himself for making mistakes. When we realized he was now ok with not being perfect we were happy. Don’t get me wrong I’d like to see him get A’s, but if he doesn’t… oh well. I highly doubt that him getting a B or two on his report card will keep him out of college.

Every person should understand that they are made up of so many parts. One part should not define you for who you are as a person. Each of the pieces is an important part of who you are as a person. 

Richard and I wanted our sons to understand they are smart. That they have so much potential in life, but this is just a piece of who they are, and who they can become in life. If you are smart, but can’t hold a conversation… what will you do in life? If you are smart, but can’t see that others can be right and you might be…. <gasp> wrong, and can’t accept that how will you work with people never mind have a boss? You need to see that there is more to life than work. You need to see that time spent doing things that are fun are just as important as doing your job. That you need balance in life to be truly happy.

Our sons aren’t perfect and they know it. Our sons are different and they know it. But, they also know that just like everyone else they have a place, a voice, an opinion, a job and a direction in life. That each person they meet has value. That each person they meet has things they are good at and things they struggle to do. That each person has many parts and one part does not define the person.

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