A few days ago, I came to the conclusion that some people might not know the history behind my family. I think history is important.– Especially once I start blogging about museums and education adventures…you guys are going to wonder why all of that is so important to my family.
And, I was struggling…feeling disconnected from my blog…
My husband suggested I write about it all. So, I am.
Then I realized…I should have started at the VERY beginning.
Because, naturally, the best place to start is the beginning. The ordinary beginning. (Wishing this part was a little more exciting…sorry!)
I hope all of this background info isn’t too snoozer.
Born and raised in Texas…I am the oldest of three girls, mom and dad are still married, and I will be 44 in April. We traveled to Disneyland and Walt Disney World so many times that no one kept count! (FUN!)
That’s me on the left, my sister on the right.
I enjoyed public school in a small suburb of Houston and graduated in 1991. Academic successes certainly did NOT fill my college applications. I possessed leadership qualities, won a few art contests, led the dance drill team as the top officer. Pretty ordinary stuff.
NEVER been a math person. Never really enjoyed reading…embarrassing to admit…I always picked up the Cliff Notes right before the book test. I am super ordinary.
Study skills were a foreign concept until my senior year, when I joined a supportive study group and actually LEARNED how to study for a government test. I greatly enjoyed the social aspects of high school and pushed the academic focus to the back burner, obviously.
Ready to start a new life and identity, I chose my college based on how far it was from home–without a campus visit or researching the majors offered. I didn’t even know people visited colleges or that different degrees were attainable at different universities.
The first time I saw my college was the day I moved into my dorm. Six days later, I met a guy and we started dating. ORDINARY! Two years after that, I was blessed with a surprise pregnancy and my son changed everything.
But, don’t assume anything…this is where MY real journey begins.
Four years later, I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a focus in Studio Art and a K-12 all-level teaching certification and became an art teacher.
A VERY short version of my ordinary life. 🙂
I WAS an ordinary, single mom with a son and a career as an art teacher.
My son…well he lined up his Matchbox cars by color and body design and the collection would stretch from his room to my bedroom in our tiny apartment. He taught himself to read at age 3 and could understand simple algebra in Kindergarten. He carried spiral notebooks full of handwritten math problems and would spend hours solving equations.
He knew the bones of the human body, loved space and science. He loved, loved, loved animals. He was sensitive, thoughtful and compassionate. He cried EVERY TIME we drove by a dead animal on the side of the road and he cared deeply about people in distress. He liked super soft things…shirts, socks, and his special pillow. He wore his cowboy boots everywhere…even to the pool. And he was very funny and very clever. My son was not ordinary and I supported him.
He was my only priority.
I supplemented higher level academics at home because he asked for it and met with teachers all through his school career because I was his mom. That was MY job. I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I certainly NEVER even considered grade acceleration or testing. I didn’t know that existed.
I was young. I never lost sleep.
I was never overwhelmed with worry about the public school not meeting his needs. I never obsessed about bullies. I didn’t stress about his future. I never researched or read a book or joined a support group–never considered it. I was just HIS mom and he was my world. I thought my son was interesting, smart and well-adjusted. (And, he is!)
Looking back, I believe his social skills and physical looks made his journey drama-free and enjoyable. His over excitabilities are mild. He is the lucky one. My daughters certainly struggle more.
The boy IS smart…but he is also handsome. And he is VERY athletic…football and rugby and anything else he can try! And handsome. And very social. And handsome. (Did I mention handsome?)
If I told you that he started taking college courses at age 15 or that he scored a perfect 800 on the math portion of the SAT or that he collects vintage video gaming systems, would you picture this guy?
Probably not! LOL!
My son will be 24 in April. He graduated from high school with 48 college credit hours and a TON of academic successes filled his college applications…as well as his work experience, sports history and volunteer hours.
Four years later, he graduated from one of the top colleges in the nation.
Well-rounded, adjusted, happy AND very intelligent. He makes my heart happy.
And, that precious, little boy prepared me for the next challenge in my journey.
So, if you want me to do the math for you (which is funny because I can’t do math), my son left for college just a few days before my youngest daughter started Kindergarten! LOL!
It was a little nutty back then.
But, by the end of that school year, we finally learned that both of my daughters were profoundly gifted. The kind of “gifted” that usually isn’t successful in public school gifted programs.
Disclaimer part: Since some of my readers do not know me personally, I will just let all of you know that we believe ALL children have gifts. “Gifted” is just the term used to describe people with extraordinary abilities. I do not believe my children were “gifted” something extra because they are more special than other children. I didn’t come up with the term “gifted”, so don’t shoot the messenger.
And, incase some of you are wondering, my son chose not to be professionally tested.