Smart. My child is apparently a brainiac. Yesterday, I was told with all the glee only a teacher who has just discovered something great can give, that my child is testing two to three years above his grade level. She went on to tell me all the things I can do to keep him engaged, all the things I should do to push him, to nurture this brain of his. And all I can think is when will my child play?
I, of course, took this news and celebrated it with my child. Taking him out to ice cream (in the freezing weather) I praised his dedication, his ability, hoping he will continue to believe that school, learning, his brain, is something to celebrate and be proud of. Because I know the bullies are coming, and there will be a time that he does the same thing I did, bury the brains to get the girl (or guy in my case). There will come a time when he will have to decide if the brain that this universe has given him is an asset or a liability. He is going to have to make the same decisions I made, and his grandmother made before me, which part of him will rule.
Because the truth is we all have to make that decision at some point; whether it is the evil heart or the good soul, the brain or the brawn, the popular or the geek. And I truly believe that people don’t have to choose, they can (and some have) be both. I was both. I was the geek and I was popular. I had the brain, and although I will never be convinced I had the beauty, I did have a date. So I choose to use everything that was given to me to make myself better…mainly because my mother expected it of me. The same as I expect it of my son. I expect greatness, and will always expect greatness from my children. (I am a tough, oftentimes really strict and rigid mom…but I have children who never disappoint…)
As a mother I am never sure what I hope my son or daughter will be. Do I want them to run a country? Or a boardroom? Do I want them to save lives? Or make lives better? Do I want them challenged? Or simply easily happy? Do I want them to be great? Do I want them to be normal?
I know what I want for my children today, freedom. The freedom to choose what and who they want to be. The freedom to find out what this world has to offer. The freedom to find out the secrets, the hidden spots, the unacknowledged incredible, that is sitting so close to them.
I worry every day about my children, it is what makes me a mother. I worry that I am not showing them enough (instead choosing to do the dishes). I worry that I am not introducing them to enough (instead finding my own freedoms), and I worry that at the end of the day what they could be and what should be won’t be offered to them because I simply became too tired. How do I give everything, when the truth is at the end of most days, I am so tired that I wish I could go to bed before my children?
I know I am only supposed to want my children happy, but my truth is I want more for them. I want to find the challenge that keeps them thinking, I want to find the imaginary friend that gives them more than any other person would, and I truly want to find for them that one hook, that one snag, that will complete them.
I can’t. I probably can’t. I probably can’t give them the hook, the snag; they are going to have to find it themselves. So in the meantime, I will try. I will try to give them all the worlds this universe has to offer, and I will try to show them all the wonder the stars light up, and I will try to show them that happiness is more than complacency, more than simplicity, and much more than a piece. For the truth is, my sole duty as a mother is to give them more than I was ever given, and hope that they find their way.
For the truth is as a mother I have many duties, many worries, but it is more important that I have hope.