Sep 292010
 
for little e, and l

“Don’t worry, Scout, it ain’t time to worry yet,” said Jem. He pointed. “Looka yonder.”

In a group of neighbors, Atticus was standing with his hands in his overcoat pockets. He might have been watching a football game. (*He was actually watching the house next door to the Finch home burn to the ground.)

“See there, he’s not worried yet,” said Jem.


(8.105-107) To Kill a Mockingbird


I’ve been thinking about my mama friends for whom the start of the school year is a difficult time, because the classroom has proven to be a tough place for their child to display his particular brand of genius.

For these precious mamas, starting school means revisiting old worries and facing new ones. It means tears and tense phone calls and scary conferences and comparisons and lots of fear and anger and suspicion and Oh My God, Is He Allrights and What Are We Doing Wrongs?

I have some thoughts about this and so I’ve just sent up a Twitter prayer to the G-O- D that it’ll all come out right. Sometimes I know something to be true, down deep in my bones, but when I try to turn it into words, it changes. Gets all jacked up. Like how blood is blue till it hits oxygen and turns red. Which is why I predict we’d be better off if people talked less and just quietly knew more. She said, as she wrote her 367th blog post.

Here I go. I’d like to talk to you about your brilliant children.

Listen.

Every child is gifted and talented. Every single one. Everything I’ve ever written about on this blog has been open for argument, except for this one. I know this one is true. Every single child is gifted and talented in a particular area. Every single one also has particular challenges. For some kids, the classroom setting is the place where their genius is hardest to see and their challenges are easiest to see. And since they spend so much time in the classroom, that’s a tough break for these little guys. But I know that if we are patient and calm and we wear our perspectacles and we keep believing, we will eventually see the specific magic of each child.


Like my student who was severely dyslexic and also could’ve won Last Comic Standing at age seven. “Hey, Miss Doyle. Were you really busy last night or something?” Yes, actually, I was. Why do you ask, Cody? “Because your hair’s the same color it was yesterday!” The boy was a genius.

Like my precious one who couldn’t walk or speak because of his severe Cerebral Palsy, but whose smile while completing his grueling physical therapy inspired the rest of my class to call him the “bravest.” Genius, that kid.

Like my autistic little man, who couldn’t have hurt another living being if somebody paid him to. He was the most gentle soul I’ve ever known. And he loved animals like they were a gift made just for him by God. Which, of course, they were. But nobody in our class knew that but him. Undeniable Genius.

Like my third grader who read like a kindergartener and couldn’t add yet. But one day I stood behind her at recess, where she played all alone, and heard her singing to herself. And that was the day I discovered her gift. It was also the day that she discovered her gift. Since I FREAKED OUT. And marched her over to the rest of the teachers to make her sing for them. And announced to the class that we had a ROCK STAR in our midst. And she quietly beamed. And she sang all the time after that. All the time. Actually, it was a little much. But we let it slide because you don’t mess with artistic genius.

Or the little man in one of Chase’s classes who was always getting in trouble. Everyday, getting in trouble. And Chase came home one day and said, “I think he’s not listening because he’s always making pictures in his head. He’s the best draw-er I’ve ever seen. He’s going to be famous, I bet.” Chase was right. I’ve seen this kid’s work. Genius.

Or my little one who was gifted in learning the classroom way, and was miles ahead of the other kids in every single subject. But had challenges being kind and humble about her particular strengths. So had a lot of trouble making friends. Sometimes it’s tough to be a genius.


Every single child is gifted. And every child has challenges. It’s just that in the educational system, some gifts and challenges are harder to see. And lots of teachers are working on this. Lots of schools are trying to find ways to make all children’s gifts visible and celebrated. And as parents, we can help. We can help our kids who struggle in school believe that they’re okay. It’s just that there’s only one way to help them. And it’s hard.

We have to actually believe that our kids are okay.

I know. Tough. But we can do it. We can start believing by erasing the idea that education is a race. It’s not. Actually, education is like Christmas. We’re all just opening our gifts, one at a time. And it is a fact that each and every child has a bright shiny present with her name on it, waiting there underneath the tree. God wrapped it up, and He’ll let us know when it’s time to unwrap it. In the meantime, we must believe that our children are okay. Every last one of them. The perfect ones and the autistic ones and the naughty ones and the chunky ones and the shy ones and the loud ones and the so far behind ones.

Because here’s what I believe. I think a child can survive a teacher or other children accidentally suggesting that he’s not okay. As long as when he comes home, he looks at his mama and knows by her face that he really is. Because that’s all they’re asking, isn’t it?

Mama, Am I Okay?

In the end, children will call the rest of the world liars and believe US.

So when they ask us with their eyes and hearts if they’re okay. . . let’s tell them:

Yes, baby. You are okay. You are more than okay. You are my dream come true. You are everything I’ve ever wanted, and I wouldn’t trade one you for a million anybody elses. This part of life, this school part, might be hard for you. But that’s okay, because it’s just one part of life. And because we are going to get through it together. We are a team. And I am so grateful to be on your team.

And then, before we dive into “helping.” Let’s just eat some cookies together and talk about other things. There are so many other things to talk about, really.

And then our kids will see that we are like Atticus Finch . . . Hands in our pockets. Calm. Believing. And they will look at us and even with a fire raging in front of them they’ll say, “Huh. Guess it’s not time to worry yet.”

And then we’ll watch carefully. We’ll just watch and wait and believe until God nods and says, “It’s time.Tear open that gift, Mama.”


And we’ll get to say our Mama FAVE. Told you so. Told you so, World.






Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  98 Responses to “On Gifts and Talents”

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  12. I think this is my favorite post of your’s I’ve ever read. I’m a former teacher and principal. MOST teachers feel just like you said…every child is gifted in their own way. It reminded me of your more recent post about the man holding the candle. That’s me with children….

    Love you bunches.

  13. Wow, thank you so much for these wonderful words of wisdom! Every bit of it is so helpful!

  14. I think we have forgotten that the Dad that many here are harping on, is just trying to do his best as well. I have yet to meet a perfect parent, so why don’t we see the parents the same was as we are wanting to see the children?

  15. Divinely inspired. You have no idea how much I needed this. I just had that big ‘ole ugly cry I needed before the school year starts again. I’m slowly learning to hand it over to God – but this helps oh so much. THANK YOU.

  16. I love this- but blood is always red. It’s never blue. Shame on that teacher who told you that!

  17. Hi, just read for the first time. I am a retired kindergarten teacher. How wonderful our world would be if more people just took the time to really observe how children interact and how their differences are so beautiful. Recess was my favorite subject, too, because it was so much fun just to get to observe a little more and teach a little less. Lol. Don’t get the idea I didn’t like teaching. I loved it and my goal was to have each child love school and learning. Not always easy, because I had to follow curricula, too. But it really felt marvelous to have children and parents say that their children found their gifts and strengths when they came back to visit. I will never forget what my principal told me one time, “The time spent at school may be the best and safest place the child ever experiences.”

  18. i think you know how to love your children so well because you know first-hand how well our Savior loves us. what a picture of His love this blog post shows me. thank you for reminding me. just what i needed.

  19. OMG!!!!!! I am in tears! Bless you…..Bless you!

  20. Love this one. Thanks, G!

  21. Hi Glennon – You have a new fan. I love your writing. LOVE. IT. A friend linked to your "Carpe Kairos" post this morn on FB…so I came over and read it…then skimmed through the rest of your blog…and I'm hooked. THANK YOU for your honesty…LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. I wish I'd found you last year when I needed this post! But I've found you now. I'm hooked after this post – and sharing with my friends!

  23. This was one of the first posts I read from your Blog. Loved it then, love it even more today. Having survived 3 days of school & back to school night, I needed your gentle reminder to be "calm and believing." I love you for helping me love them (my kids) even better!
    ADJ

  24. Love this! as a teacher I needed this reminder – to remember to see the special in all my students, not just the ones who shine in obvious ways. love, love, love this!

  25. Found this post on a day I really needed it – THANK YOU! I really liked Sarah's comment:

    "I am convinced the entire women/motherhood/parenting media industry is BUILT on the piles of guilt they–and we–heap on each other about NOT DOING ENOUGH.

    Whatever happened to Kindergarten being about learning to get along in the sandbox? I feel like it's just a competition — and once again, if the parents don't do enough (guilt), the kids will suffer (BIG guilt). But we forget that kids are special, powerful and gifted in their own right (right on, Glennon!) — they CAN succeed without us clearing and sweeping the path clean at every turn. We just need to believe that — tell our kids that — and don't beat ourselves up for not being or doing enough."

    I was just wondering if I needed to get my son evaluated for fine motor occupational therapy because my preschool teacher told me he has trouble with scissors,etc (he just turned 3 in august.) I had fine and gross motor delay in kindergarten and never received therapy. I am now a functioning (if not graceful) member of society.

    There is too much labeling and too much pressure! Thank you for reminding me to love my children for who they are and not who society thinks they should be.

  26. Wow. What a great post. I have nothing more to say! Totally awesome.

  27. Thanks Monkees. While I know joining together to show this mean man what life is like in a civilized world would have been thouroughly satisfying…

    I did tell little kate that I thought her dad had no clue what he was talking about. She said she would tell him I said that. I said go ahead.

    Meghan, I want to be like you when I grow up. No really, I am going to school to do just that!

  28. Glennon, I type as I have tears streaming down my face. My mother is one of your mother's sorority sisters – she forwarded this post to me. It's absolutely beautiful.

    As a former elementary teacher, I used to beat my head against the wall when parents would get their panties in a wad about the fact that their eight year old didn't qualify for the gifted and talented program. I tried to share my thoughts on G&T programs and that all children are actually gifted but often to no avail. Those children grew up feeling like they were not good enough ever and it broke my heart.
    I vow not to do this to my children. I make a lot of parenting mistakes. But this one? I'll be damned.

    Your writing is wonderful, Glennon. I'm so glad my mother sent your blog to me!

  29. Wow! I loved this post, made me a little teary. I also loved the comment someone made that we could turn this around and work on accepting our own gifts as well as those of our tiny people.

    Thanks for your posts, every time I stop by your blog there's always something meaningful or uplifting. I'm glad you're here.

    Angi

  30. Sunny:

    Just to be devil's advocate…maybe, just MAYBE that is what she heard but not what dad meant or actually said…I have people who come into my office and say, "well, I was thinking about what you said Meghan," and then they proceed to "quote" me. It is STUNNING. I can usually trace it back (I have a fierce memory), but I can always TELL if it is something I WOULD have said.

    Could you check in with the parent? It might sound something like, "I was putting child in for defense and she said, she doesn't think she can play defense? Any idea why that would be?"

    You watch the reaction, and then you know WHO YOU ARE DEALING WITH. If he really is THAT dad, then you use ALL your amazing woman-ness to explain that MEN are NEVER allowed to limit women, and what we are capable of. Not with laws, not with jails, and certainly not with words. That goes for dads, and boyfriends, and teachers and bosses. You tell that little girl that people who can't see how shiny and incredible she is must have a lot of gunk on their glasses. Too bad they haven't cleaned 'em.

    Off the soap box now. Whew. That sure did get me whipped up.

  31. Sunny – That Dad deserves a kick in the shins. My husband coaches our U7 team and has had to send out an email reminding ALL parents that this is a learning league and all comments should be positive or kept to themselves. He did it very nicely and did not call anyone out – but it has been effective so far. Maybe you want to try that.

  32. You know what the worst thing is? I can already feel myself calling my almost 4 yr old a "smart" kid, labeling him "ahead of the curve." And I think to myself, am I crazy?? He's in freakin' preschool, people! I worry that I'm unintentionally already setting expectations that he'll internalize, and then beat himself up about when he misses the mark.

    And I also realized the other day that I'm stressing about the fact that I'm not DOING more to ensure my son's utmost success in life. Like not being more PRO-ACTIVE when we noticed a stutter when he was about 2.5 (which he outgrew, thankfully) without any intervention), or not getting him into art or music classes, or "soccer" camp. Or opting not to pay a college tuition to send him to a part-time Montessori preschool, even though everyone in town with kids the same age says they are FAB and have a wonderful "teaching methodology."

    I am convinced the entire women/motherhood/parenting media industry is BUILT on the piles of guilt they–and we–heap on each other about NOT DOING ENOUGH.

    Whatever happened to Kindergarten being about learning to get along in the sandbox? I feel like it's just a competition — and once again, if the parents don't do enough (guilt), the kids will suffer (BIG guilt). But we forget that kids are special, powerful and gifted in their own right (right on, Glennon!) — they CAN succeed without us clearing and sweeping the path clean at every turn. We just need to believe that — tell our kids that — and don't beat ourselves up for not being or doing enough.

    I, for one, thought I was never and could never be good enough. That's one thing I don't want to pass on to my kids if I can help it…

  33. Me Too.

    I am an incredible shin kicker.

    Sunny, thanks for being a little light for that kate. That's really all we need to survive…a LITTLE light. right?

    love,
    g

    give me the shin kicking location and your eta. can't wait too see the evening news headlines…MEAN MAN ATTACKED AT DOORSTEP BY SMILING MONKEES.

  34. Sunny, I will meet you there.

  35. Monkees I need help.
    I coach an U8 girls soccer team. On the sidelines this weekend I had a conversation with one of my players that went like this.
    Me: Kate you're going in for Abby.
    K: But Abby is playing defense.
    Me: Great job Kate! I'm glad you're paying attention to the positions.
    K: I can't play defense though, my DAD says I am really really BAD at it.
    Me: Your dad really said that?
    K: Yup, he says stuff like that all the time.

    Kate played defense for the rest of the game and never let a ball get passed her.

    I am looking for a good reason why I shouldn't drive over to Kate's house this morning and kick her dad in the knee.

    Thanks for letting me share Monkees.

  36. I so hear what you are saying, vrwfox. I am not great as a stay at home mom. Frankly I barely like myself in this role. I mean I love it on MWF when I am alone but the other times I am really not great at it. BUT because of our family dynamic at present (AKA my husband who travels nearly every week) I think I would be even worse as a working mom b/c it would all be on me (NO CLUE how single moms do it…really have so much respect for them). All of it is scary to me.
    I do agree we have to do more than simply love 'em b/c that isn't enough. We have to cultivate the type of relationship Glennon is talking about where our kids can come to us without fear of judgement. But goodness, I am still trying to figure that out. Life is so complicated. Oh my…

  37. Well if those are considered public sightings, then I get noticed all the time! :)

    Nicely done G.lady,

    Meghan. I like you. I think G is right. You should run for president. Think of what a different world it would be…

  38. Beautiful post. I totally agree, every child is a genius in their own way.

  39. ALSO MONKEES…

    I had another public noticing yesterday.

    I'm pulling the girls out of the van at the playground and I see this woman approaching me, looking a little sheepish…she's just left another group of women across the way and they're all watching her walk over to me.

    I think…here we go. Oh yeah, she's a Monkee. I'm gettin' noticed. I arrange my face all composed and sweet.

    She gets closer and smiles shy and says, "Excuse me?"

    I try to look very unassuming and surprised and say, "Yes?"

    And she says, "I just wanted to tell you that you still have all the tags on your shirt. They're hanging out the back. I like Marshalls, too."

    I look over at the group of women and they smile all understandingly.

    So I guess it wasn't really another public noticing after all.

    But close. Verrrrry close.

  40. meghan for president.

    love.

  41. Tova et al:

    Since Glennon called me out (like I would HIDE anything HERE…please), its true…I do make a tidy little life doing the incredibly rewarding job of being a "helping talker" as my nearly three year old likes to say…

    There is a reason why I check this sight 10 times a day and read every post…and it isn't to help, really. Everything here feeds my soul. Every word, and all of those chiming in keep reminding me that people are pretty much the only thing I am interested in…

    And I am happy I said even one tiny little thing that made any sense to anyone.

    AND while I don't know you're story, I can feel that your bravery from here, and I truly believe that the most beautiful things in life, the ones that truly matter only come when we risk big.

    Feeling warm and all lovey.

  42. Thank you.

    I smiled. All I saw were wrinkles and a slightly manic, stressed smile. Which made me think of chocolate and now I am all good. Chocolate good.

    Rocky is named after very important people who believe in us. :)

    vrwfox: THANK YOU!

    And to the counselor doing pro bono work on Momastery, thank you. Seriously, I would pay money to see you.

    Tova

  43. Thanks for this one! I'm glad I'm not alone in this scary school year!

  44. That quotation hits pretty close to home– my constant worry in the years that we were thinking of having kids but hadn't done it yet was, "I'm not ready to stop being the most important person in my life." Notice, getting married didn't make me treat my husband as more important. Poor guy- it still doesn't.

    Tova– sending prayers NOW for beautiful children, your dog and all that is happening. God is in it all and all will be well.

  45. also,

    in defense of counseling…i think the monkee who figured out the "we must be okay to tell our kids they're okay" thing might actually BE a counselor.

    so i think we might be her pro bono work.

  46. TOVIE.

    oh sweet baby jesus. rocky is coming home.

    guys, tova is adopting a little angel from africa. we call her rocky, though i can't remember why at the moment.

    Tovie, I am praying for you and Rocky and the pup and THIS UNBELIEVABLY important and wonderful day. Breathe, Tovie. Go look in the mirror and smile (really do it) because as my FAVE Penny Lane says:

    IT'S ALL HAPPENING.

    Love you.

  47. AAAHHHHH!!!

    You all did it again. I was skipping along ignoring all these posts and comments when you nailed me right in the gut.

    My mom always told me she loved me, that I was beautiful, etc. But I never believed her…

    Because she was deeply insecure and fearful. She didn't believe she was beautiful. She didn't believe she was even close to ok.

    Glennon, congrats. This blog is just as affective as counseling and whole hell of lot cheaper.

    Also, could you all hug me today. I think my dog might be dying and our dossier just flew to Africa today. I am currently typing this with my head between my knees because I am all lightheaded and stressed.

    Tova

  48. I think you've got it Meghan.

    We gotta be okay first. Otherwise nooone will believe us when we tell them that they're okay.

    Makes perfect sense to me.

    Vrwfx…thank you. I read a quote the other day that made me so happy because it made me feel less alone. "I never knew how selfish I was till I got married, and I never knew how angry I was till I had kids."

    Um, yeah.

    I just love these comments so much. Thank you all for sharing your hearts. You are helping people.

  49. what Meghan said is so true —

    "we not only have to see our children as gifted and very much ok, but we have to be sure to be ok, too."

    well put.

  50. I had my daughter's 3 year check up yesterday with her pediatrician. I wasn't nervous or worried, b/c I KNOW my daughter is wonderful and smart and kind and beautiful and independent and "spirited" and all of these things are great, even when I find myself raising my voice and saying, "Just give mommy ONE MINUTE. I NEED A MINUTE HERE."

    and yet, even knowing all of these things and telling my daughter all of these things so that she knows it, still, I found myself so SO happy and validated by the doctor. I told her that I thought Lexi was pretty verbal for her age, but what do I know? I only have one kid. I was just kind of talking, not really looking for a response, but I was insanely thrilled when the dr. responded, "yes, Lexi is very verbal. I have been impressed by her vocabulary since she was 2."

    I thought – AHA! I KNEW IT! my kid is Brilliant. but why do I need this kind of validation from a doctor who sees Lexi a few times a year? I shouldn't – I think if I had more confidence in myself as a mom, and I told myself every day that I am a great mom, doing the best I can and I am smart and fabulous and kind and beautiful, then I wouldn't need someone else to validate that I am raising a good kid.

    anyway, that's what I was thinking of yesterday, and it made me think more about this blog entry and everyone's comments. Thanks Monkees!! happy weekend to everyone.

  51. G-Bird,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I have so much to say and no time to say it! Love, Love, Love You and ALL the Monkees!
    XoXo Susie M.

  52. Glennon:

    I am so glad you stayed on this topic, 'cause I have been athinkin'. I posted earlier, that I think my mom did all the things we would want a good mother to do and say with her daughter (wow, just reading that reminds me of what a different place of peace my mother and I are now at), but as a kid I didn't trust her when she told me I was all kinds of wonderful…and I realized why.

    My mother wasn't ok. She couldn't tell me it was ok, because it wasn't ok for her.I believed that she thought I was beautiful and wonderful, but her opinion seemed to come from a sort of distorted place She was overstressed and depressed, and she needed more help than she had (she raised six kids). When I was eventually picked on at school, or was failing social studies, It never even occurred to me to ask her for help.

    So I ask what I am saying is that we not only have to see our children as gifted and very much ok, but we have to be sure to be ok, too.

    This has all has me stirred up and I guess its just the desire to protect my own daughter, and do right by her.

    Thanks again girl.

  53. The Ellen clip you posted (as did 10 other friends!) is another riff on this topic for me. My heart breaks for the families and friends of the four young men Ellen named, as well as the hundreds or thousands of others who felt so isolated and different that they felt like ending their lives was the best choice.

    The bullying Ellen talks about is pervasive– even in my left wing SF Bay Area. But would the story have ended differently if each of these boys had KNOWN, deep in their core, that they had the love of their parents? That they had a team behind them that would help them stand strong through ridicule and shame. And that who they are was good, was a gift, was enough.

    I'm having a rough time, parenting-wise. Not because of any particular thing. But because I know I'm not at my best as a stay-at-home-mom. I adore my kids, but the lack of outside creative inspiration is getting to me right now. I feel mean, petty and unhappy. And it scares me.

    But this topic, the video, the absolutely critical job I have in making sure these four growing people know that they are gifts to the world who have so much to share– it is helping. Today is the first day in a while that I'm not so resentful and grumpy.

    Thank you, Glennon, for this topic. For the reminder to make the deep love I have for each of my kids more tangible to them.

  54. BEAUTIFULLY written and I wholeheartedly agree! I'm so glad a friend posted this on fb.

  55. (Glennon. You have a calendar. And you are WRITING THINGS ON IT! I am so proud of you :) )

  56. I've lurked on & off on your blog for a while now & when I checked it today I just started bawling. I've been anxious & stressed & crying about my son's journey through kindergarten this year.

    This post spoke to my heart & was exactly what this sleepless, anxious mama needed to read.

    Many, many thanks.

  57. Wonderful, perfecty perfection Glennon :) YOU are a gift :)

    Abbey B.

  58. Kathie,

    I am sitting here with my daughter and I'm ready to pull my hair out trying to do this homework and then I read your comment about them not getting it. I am so glad I am not the only parent who gets frustrated with homework. I absolutely HATE hate hate hate hate homework. Did I mention I hate homework? But I am trying to be patient right now and re-reading this and everyone's comments is helping

    "education is not a race"…I LOVE THAT! I will have to remember that when I am working with my children on their homework and I get frustrated because they don't "get it".

  59. I couldn't agree more! Coming home to mama, just quietly knowing that we are okay, hearing that we are beautiful and loved and wanted just like this. Wonderful picture.

    It's just like that with God, isn't it? We, as mothers, coming to him, sometimes teary-eyed, knowing that we are LOVED, though imperfect and flawed. He loves us. We love our Sweeties. He loves them even more. Wonderful picture.

    Thanks for a beautiful reminder. :)

  60. I think this post is just as important for teachers to read as it is for parents. I watched Oprah do two Waiting for Superman shows last week and I hope this is going to be a game-changing movie. We need some game-changing in our education system – from teachers AND parents. I think we all need to see this movie!

    My middle son Ben, who is often in "Ben's World" had an IEP for two years and now does not have one. It was a great step for us to ensure that he had some extra attention and resources for working through his inability to focus. He's doing great now in the 5th grade and is no longer on an IEP. Get's As & Bs and told us recently he wants to be a game show host comedian when he grows up! Bring it on, Ben!

    Thanks for writing this – I'll definitely share with others!

  61. "education is not a race"…I LOVE THAT! I will have to remember that when I am working with my children on their homework and I get frustrated because they don't "get it".

    They will know write b and d correctly someday!

    Kathie

  62. G,
    Thank you so much you inspire me, reminder me, and make me think! I like that. Thanks for doing what you do so well. Love, Mom of Three

  63. G-
    I love this. I swear I posted a comment when teary eyed yesterday. Apparently I didn't follow through on the verifying etc… Instead of trying to recreate the "lost" comment – I will just say, thanks!

  64. Another one hit clear outta the park G.

  65. Glennon,

    Everything you say jives with everything I know, everything I've been learning, experiencing, reading about. It jives with the messages of Sir Ken Robinson and Rafe Esquith of how our job is to help each child discover their passion. Rafe says school should be a banquet table of choices, but it's really just meat and potatoes. And I'm not dissing MY school when I say that. I'm just saying we're doing the three R's, and there's so much more out there in the big wide world.

    Glennon, here's where your message was new stuff for me: WE, the PARENTS, can make everything okay for our kids! We can't change the world, but we can change the way our kids perceive it. And we do that by being calm and not worrying ourselves. And when we reach that calm and eat cookies and listen to our kids, we also have that much better of a chance to discover our kids' strengths, talents, and passions.

    Thank you, G. I plan to talk less and listen more.

  66. The day my two year old was given an IEP I started having trouble seeing him as I should…I have come a long way since then, thankfully (with encouragement from you all I might add). But I still struggle, I still compare my children all the time to their peers and see where they measure up. I should be unwrapping their gifts – I really needed that reminder. I keep shaking my head at how much harder this mother gig is than I expected. Your blog helps me feel less alone.

  67. Great post, and very important to remember as an educator and a parent. And . . . blood is always red, it just appears blue under the skin because of fun optical tricks :-) If it were really blue then when we blushed we would look like Smurfette :-)

  68. Glennon:

    As always, thank you for writing. What this made me think about was how my momma always told me I was beautiful, smart, worthwhile…but I still couldn't feel it. I just couldn't. And I am wondering why that was. I didn't learn my special gifts until much later in life, and it was mostly through a therapist, who also showed me a mirror of what she saw, including all the good and for some reason I believed her…But boy do I hope to be able to do that for my girl.

  69. This is funny. I mean not your post. Crap. This is why I don't have a blog.

    Starting over! I was thinking this AM that not many were commenting, probably because they were thinking, or sniffling or just trying to get dressed and out the door, and I thought, "If people don't start commenting, Glennon's going to wonder what's the matter." And then I decided to take the time to write how much I love this post, but I didn't have a chance until now. Or maybe I forgot? But at any rate, I'm so glad that when I finally showed up so many wonderful moms had already said the things I'm thinking better than I could have.

    So I'll hush.

    Thanks, Glennon, for another inspiring post. I tried to love my three even harder today.

    :)MK

  70. Can we build/maintain anything better for our children than a loving bond between us? If we live what we value, we can…

    "Yes, baby. You are okay. You are more than okay. You are my dream come true. You are everything I’ve ever wanted, and I wouldn’t trade one you for a million anybody elses. This part of life, this school part, might be hard for you. But that’s okay, because it’s just one part of life. And because we are going to get through it together. We are a team. And I am so grateful to be on your team."

    Love that your words are one size fits all… our 20 something year old kids need these words, too. Nice eye opener, Glennon.

  71. Glennon – glad you saw my comment. my friends are posting back to me that they LOVE the entry and it has touched them and made them appreciate the precious gifts their kids have. Thanks from me AND my online mommy friends.

  72. G:
    Just reading this now. As you know, I have been internet-challenged the past few weeks. Loved this post though! A good reminder that helping doesn't always equal doing or fixing, but rather loving and supporting and giving our kids the space to shine.

    Years ago my mom told me that she would "always cheer for me." I don't remember the context of the comment but I remember that. And she ALWAYS has been my biggest cheerleader in life – every single step of the way.

  73. also Kristi, I spent another hour on Barn Owl Primitives last night.

    Craig thinks I'm obsessed. I'll be ordering soon.

    It is verrrrrrrry hard to make a decision.

  74. Jen, I know. I've been thinking of these littles all day. It makes me insanely happy that you sent this home with that precious girl. Thank you for that.

    Laura, I just wrote your due date on my calendar. Laura, I HAVE A CALENDAR. I know it's not as exciting as a baby, but still.

    Praying for you. Gracie's gonna make one heck of a big sis.

  75. Glennon,

    I think that people liked it too much. I know for myself, it made me think. I just didn't have anything to say because it was all ruminating in my head. Thank you for sharing these amazing thoughts with us. I run to Momastery every day to see if you have shared something new, as I know I will be challenged, enlightened or just plain entertained.

    Bless you, dear friend.

    Laura

    Btw, Monday, Oct. 11 is d-day for this baby! :) Can you believe it has been that long since I shared the news in your living room in Sterling?

  76. This made me cry (although PMS probably added to that). I printed it out and sent it home with one of this year's little darlings for her mother. (I doubt they have internet access at home.) She's having a rough year already and I know it can be hard for a single mom to remember her daughter's special gifts in light of all the struggles.

    I remember so many of the darlings you wrote about here. I wonder where they are now.

  77. oh my gosh you guys, thank you. not many people were commenting and so i got VERY nervous because i thought maybe it all came out wrong. and so i emailed sister in rwanda and said HELP READ THE BLOG is it okay?? but she was busy changing laws and her internet wasn't working and YIKES and so i've been stressing.

    thank goodness. i'm glad you liked it.

    also, i am clearly not atticus.

  78. This post helped someone very close to me today who is trying her best to shepherd her very gifted older son. Thank you!

  79. G ~

    please keep writing and reminding and teaching and sharing and helping and guiding and being.

    you always seem to know just what to say and just when to say it. thank you!! xoxo ~ kristi

  80. I AM HERE KELLY! I check the comments. every single. hour. They make my day.

    Thank you.

  81. I know it's later there on the east coast, so not sure if you will see this comment, but thank you SO MUCH for this entry today. This is one of my favorites from you Glennon.

    I hope you don't mind, but I shared it with my little group of online mommy friends – some of them just had their kids start kindergarten or preschool, and one of them has a 2 year old with hypotonia – she has low muscle tone, and doesn't walk yet. She goes to therapy 5 DAYS A WEEK, plus swimming and yet, thru it all, she smiles and giggles and laughs and is so happy. Her mama, my friend, struggles every day with the challenges she faces and I know this entry inspired her and touched her. Thanks.

  82. Just watched an old NOVA special that we tivoed a long time ago. It is about a rock musician (Mark Everett of The Eels) learning about his father, a ground-breaking physicist who was ahead of his time, not appreciated for most of his career and who died at 51. At some point, Mark visits with a colleague of his father who says that the father would have appreciated his son's musical gifts, though he didn't really have the emotional vocabulary to communicate it.

    I had to pause the show and think about that. Where are the places that I am appreciating my kids' different gifts? And where am I lacking the vocabulary to show it? It was a beautiful, but sad story of a man trying to know the father with whom he lived but whom he never really knew. I want so much more for my relationship with my kids.

    And, even though my boys have both done fine academically at school, I walk into the conferences with tears in my eyes and a fear of being judged. I don't think I understood how hard those conversations are when I was the teacher.

  83. couldn't. agree. more. They are all brillant and talented and gifted and special.
    We could all just turn this around towards ourselves. It is so easy to compare my lack of giftings to someone else's uber gifting in a particular area, rather than just believing I AM OK!! More than OK. I am ME and there is no other ME. I think the more we belive this to be TRUE, the more it will be reflected in our children. They are little mirrors in many ways :)

  84. I have been thinking about this ALL day long…
    Mainly about how we as parents can be really empowering to our kids, or not so much, when their genius doesn't match up with what we value. Like, when a kid excels academically, but not so much on the football field, or vice versa. Right now it feels so easy to just love my little ones for who they are. I'm hoping that will remain the case as they grow up and their giftings really start coming out. I'm hoping I'll be able to be proud (and show it) of all of their accomplishments, in whatever arena it arrives.
    anyway…just sharing some rambling thoughts

  85. Thank you, Glennon.
    I just met with my son's Kindergarten teacher yesterday. It was weird because I was a little nervous. You know, like I'm-gonna-get into-trouble kind of nervous. But full-well knowing that my Hubs and I are trying our darn-dest to love and teach well in our home.
    I asked his teacher if we could pray before the meeting. Then I prayed for all the kids in my son's class and his school…and cried.
    These kiddos are just asking to be loved. Man, why is it so hard, sometimes?
    Love more – talk less. I am praying for that.

  86. MWAH back, to all of you.

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and let me know that this stuff helps. It means a lot to me and helps me stay motivated to keep writing.

    Love, G

  87. This is great:) I think having twins made me realize some time ago that each child has different gifts. Having two only one minute apart and the same gender has opened my eyes to the differences but special gifts of each child. Now can you write a post about the children that are perfect at school and turn me into a raving lunatic at home? Thanks!
    Andie

  88. Chimmy,
    that is HILARIOUS!

  89. Perfect timing. This post made my cry. I just got back from my daughters school, meeting with the school social worker because we are going through this hoorible process called an IEP. I'm sure you know it well. My whole life, pregnancy and family life has been put under a microscope, everything I've done or everything I'm doing may have or could have caused my child to have a hard time in school. Nothing like a little guilt on a Wednesday morning.

    I've thanked you before Glennon but this post really means a lot to me because I've been stressing about this IEP and what it all means when we are finished, but no matter what happens or what they tell me, I will remember that MY child is precious and smart and loving and caring.

    ***MWAH*** thank you for helping me through this day.

    Jennifer M.

  90. I LOVE this sentiment, and agree 1500%!

  91. Thank you Glennon. These children, all of our children, all of the world's children – they are precious. Every single one. Thank you for the reminder.

    Tricia

  92. Amen. Thanks, G.

    Love.

  93. Thank you. Much needed. xo.

    P.S. LOVE Atticus!

  94. Teary eyed.

    Love,
    Suzy

  95. atticus finch was my first crush.

    thank goodness i went home to a mama who said that it was okay to have a crush on atticus finch. even if she did ask if he rode the bus with me.

  96. really beautiful thoughts my friend

    and does that picture mean that I can get out my Christmas music?? because I would just LOVE that :)

    also – LOVE Atticus Finch – I didn't read that book until just recently. somehow missed it during my school years, but it's probably just as well because I probably would have missed the good parts…

  97. Thanks for the reminder…you have no idea how much I needed it. (It would however have been even more helpful YESTERDAY morning before I marched myself up to school to talk about my child's math!) :) Oh well, I'll keep trying…
    xoxox

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