Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It's Okay to be Awesome

The school system held a meeting for parents of gifted children a while back - I basically disagreed with most of what they said in the program, so it was hard to take much from it. They gave speeches on gifted kids being like ADD kids (NO - it's called discipline people), told about programs and camps to help them thrive with their giftedness (NO - they have their whole lives for that crap - their job is to be a kid right now!), and how gifted kids should be set up in some situations where they can fail so as to not have them shocked later in life when they actually do.

My problem with that last one is pretty personal. I remember my mother saying to me once late in high school and in college that she was worried that I had never failed at anything and wondered what would happen if I did. I will tell you that I don't know that I have outright failed at something in life - I have definitely been less awesome at some things than others, but I don't know that I could point out a "failure". But you know what, shit has hit the fan for me in all arenas of life more than one time, and I came out on the other end. Maybe the flipside, the more optimistic side, of not failing is knowing that you have the strength and ability to do what you want and that knowledge prevents you from something ever becoming a failure . . . maybe?

But I think it's okay to be awesome at everything . . . I don't think failure is a lesson that needs to be taught.

This all came to me the other day at the museum. We saw exhibits on patterns and some awesome creations. They had a room set up where you could create something with your own pattern. There were a ton of materials, but also guided sheets for those people like me who have zero artistic abilities. Marlie, being like me, I would have assumed to go for a guided activity . . . Nope, blank piece of paper. And she came up with the creation you see - a butterfly out of handprints and a pattern in the wings. I asked her if she had done that in art class - no, she just looked at the wings of a butterfly and thought she could make the shape with her hands! And she did the pattern to match the theme of the art she saw . . .

See - if I were going to pick an area that I thought Marlie would "fail" at, it would've been artistic and creative skills - simply because of her very matter of fact left brained ways . . . But alas, she is awesome at everything, and I think that's perfectly fine . . . I have a pretty good feeling that she will make it as an adult just fine . . .

1 comment:

Tina. said...

I've been thinking about it and I think failure is more of a technical term. A rocket can fail to launch, a computer can fail to boot up, etc.

After reading your thoughts on the subject, I tried to find an example in my past of when I was a failure. I could say maybe when I took piano lessons - I didn't take more than one course because my mom made me do it and I hated it. But just because I didn't go on to become a pianist doesn't mean I can't play a couple songs I learned. It also gave me fond memories of throwing tantrums sitting at the piano at home being forced to practice. I could also say I have been through failed relationships, but I always learned a shit-ton about myself as well as had the privilege of knowing someone intimately for a period of time.

Okay so maybe I can fail to catch the bus. I can fail to eat a whole pizza. I can fail to do lots of things, but I still think that word is strange to use in any more than a casual way. No one is a failure unless they tell themselves that. And it's not a very useful way to live life, in my opinion.