When gifted gets the best of you

Wouldn’t it be great if every time you did something off center, off color, off the norm, off the cuff, just off, you could wave your hand nonchalantly and tee-hee and say, “Oh, that’s just my gifted getting the best of me”?

Wouldn’t it be grand if the receiver smiled a knowing and understanding smile, shrugged, and commiserated with, “Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us”?

The trouble is that gifted does get the best of us. And all that that implies.

I tend to take a comical view of my gifted because, really, what else can you do? This bag is mine to tend; still, it can be hard to be honest with others and yourself when it comes to those things that get the best of you.

Most of the time we assume the worst: when something gets the best of me, it means that I’ve done something horribly wrong and horribly weird and it’s just this pesky thing, this pesky gifted, that keeps doing it. If only I could do something about it. If only I could fix it.

The trouble is that you’d be fixing the best part of you. The truth is that gifted does get the best of you and deep down, on honest days, you know that despite what it looks like –despite the overexcitability, the depth, the need, the fear, the difference from others– despite all of that, the best of you is exactly where you want gifted to reside.

When I started this blog I knew right away I wanted to use a pseudonym. First and foremost I did so to protect my children, their rights, and their privacy; yet, I would be dishonest if I didn’t admit that I knew that with a pseudonym it would be easier to be completely and utterly candid. I could tell the whole story and really turn my bag upside down and shakeshakeshake through a guise of anonymity.

And shake I have.

There are a lot of loose bits inside a gifted adult. There are old pieces of gum stuck to something that hurt you, paper clips holding together your day, crumbs from something you don’t even remember putting in there, and little corners and scraps and memories from a couple weeks’ worth of new ideas, starts of chapter ones, notes for tomorrow, and exciting opportunities.

Yes, that is my bag; and sometimes, when I’m really lucky, it gets the best of me.

Let’s apply this to our gifted and twice-exceptional children. Wouldn’t it be dreamy if every time a gifted child is embarrassed, called out, punished, or feeling alone because gifted is getting the best of her, she could smile and say with a laugh, “It’s my gifted getting the best of me”?

Oh, I’m sure there are more than few times I could have used that sentence at a playground when my children do something and all the other moms look at me expecting a good explanation. Explain that, please.

Instead of shrinking back and blushing, instead of worrying I’ve done something wrong as a parent, I could proudly hold up my children’s gifted and say, “Yah, that’s the gifted getting the best of them!  I couldn’t be more proud!”

We are not be able to explain it any better than our children can, this gifted bag they carry, but what I’ve realized and what I want my children to realize is that gifted is the best of them.  When it presents in a way which isn’t what we expect and we criticize it, we criticize the best part of who they are.  As a parent I know I have done that many times and I think it’s time I shakeshakeshake out the contents of my perspective and start fresh.

This frustrating… it makes us cry at advocacy meetings at school because even though we know they need to fix a behavior or three we hope they don’t fix it too much and lose the best part.

This emotional… it makes us go to bed at night tired from all of the effort it takes to raise these magnificent and crazy creatures hoping you get to wake up and do it all over again tomorrow.

This depth… makes educators and administrators of gifted children push for more funding and awareness so that they can do everything they need to do to reach that depth.

This love… we worry about, we encourage, we are in awe, and we are exhausted.

This gifted…. it will always get the best of us.