Saturday, October 21, 2006

Confession

I have a confession to make.

When I have described this blog to people, I have often said that no topic is off limits. I lied. There are certain topics that I simply won't talk about. I won't delve into my sex life or the juicy bits of my rocky relationship with my parents. I figure that it doesn't need to be published. I also don't blog much about my job, because frankly, I'd like to keep it. There's another topic however, that I've been avoiding and have only danced around here. Mostly because nobody (and I do mean nobody outside of maybe our pediatrician or even a couple psychologists) gets it.

Ahem. So let's get to it.

I have blogged long and hard about my child's sensory issues, his fine motor problems,and his learning disability. However there is one label that really factors into the whole being that is my child, and I have largely ignored it in this blog.

He's gifted. Not just a little gifted either, but...um...really seriously gifted. There. I said it.

Oh, I've heard it all.

"All kids are gifted."
"You just think yours is special."
"It's because he's an only child and you've worked with him." (I laugh most at this one because I don't even understand much of what Kevin's into now, to be honest)

The g-word, in my opinion, really is a stupid label. The word in itself makes the bearer sound like they are just above everyone. They aren't. In fact, being gifted has come at a massive price to both my husband and my son. Sure, they learn quickly. However with the ability to absorb piles of information comes the side affect of also absorbing everything else, hence the sensory integration difficulties and emotional sensitivity. They are isolated, because much of what they enjoy is just weird or foreign to everyone else. They have difficulty relating to people-not because they are above them, but because what they find interesting isn't something anyone else cares about.

If I had to explain what parenting a gifted child is like, I'd say that if most kids are like a vacuum cleaner when it comes to soaking things up, my kid is a tornado. He absorbs EVERYTHING. To the point where it's invasive and exhausting, and I just want him to chill out and for the love of God, stop asking questions for just five minutes! He never, ever, shuts off. He's always learning something-every minute of the day. Even at night I have to pry the books and things from his hands and literally take them away lest he turn the light back on and read "just a little more" after the light is out.

Rest assured that I am not the sort of person that shouts my child's accomplishments from the rooftops. In fact, I don't enjoy sharing the information that he is gifted and what he can do, and I don't. He is a child, not a trained seal. We do our best to just provide what he needs, but as he's growing I'm finding it increasingly difficult. (for instance, he's into grade 12 level chemistry and I don't know anything about it. He lectures me about it, I nod blankly).

Yesterday I went to a day long conference with these authors in the city. It was an amazing day, and so wonderful to spend a day with people who didn't see your child as broken or odd, but instead had kids just like that. They really understood. We are soon facing a time where we need to make crucial decisions about Kevin's future and I am now feeling a little less lost and alone, which I haven't felt for a long time. Still scared, but a little hopeful.

So there. You have it all now.

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