When I became pregnant ten years ago, I knew my life would change. But I never anticipated the primary reason for the transformation I’ve experienced.
It wasn’t just that I had a child. It was the fact that I had a child who was tough to figure out. Who made me seriously question my parenting abilities. Who drained me (and my husband) daily. And it took me years until the lightbulb went on when someone pointed out that Caroline was gifted (and, as we eventually also figured out, 2e).
Caroline’s giftedness frankly drives much of our lives. Parents of gifted children (or children with significant health needs) will understand this. My entire life has morphed into something I never saw coming. I never thought I would be writing about children who learn differently. I never thought I would be writing about giftedness and twice-exceptional children. This very website you are reading is what it is because I have a gifted child.
So having a gifted child has changed my life. How? Here are six ways.
Caroline’s giftedness makes many life decisions for us.
Although I knew I wanted to homeschool before I became a mom, homeschooling has truly chosen us because of her needs. There are many choices we do not have to make because Caroline’s giftedness necessitates certain choices.
Caroline’s giftedness has been a spiritual blessing.
It has caused me to re-examine my beliefs about children, discipline, calling, parenting and more. It has pushed me to examine the Scriptures, Jesus’ example, and who I allow to influence my parenting choices and decisions.
Being Caroline’s mother has made me a more compassionate person.
Nothing in my life has developed compassion toward other parents and children more than this. This is especially true when I meet parents of gifted/2e children and children with chronic medical issues. I know what those needs do to a parent day in and day out.
Having a gifted child forces you to be intentional.
There’s a lot of talk in our culture about being intentional, but most people live life on autopilot. They take the path of least resistance, they follow the norm, and they generally fit in successfully with society as a whole without needing to rock the boat very often. When you have a gifted child, you have to get up every day and be intentional. You are either doing battle for their needs at school, seeking out medical help, trying to figure out how to homeschool them, or doing yet more reading to figure out what in the heck makes them tick. Being intentional on a daily basis isn’t optional when you have a gifted child.
Caroline’s giftedness (which is very different from my own) has caused me to look at life in a very different way.
Caroline and I are gifted in very different ways. Our gifted strengths are polar opposites in many ways. So being the mother of a imaginative, creative, right-brained child rocked my world and forced me to constantly rethink what was is truly necessary and what was valuable. Did you know stuffed animals are of more value than just about anything else in the house and playing with them for hours is a daily necessity? They are in our world. (And, yes, they all have a name, a story and a voice.)
Having a verbally adept gifted child with a quick wit enriches my own life.
Seriously. I love a good-natured verbal sparring match and have a snarky streak that I fight to sometimes keep in check and in line with my Christian faith. To have a child who also enjoys fun verbal exchanges and battles enriches my life in so many ways! LOL! David and I have remarked many times that if we had a child who wasn’t wired in this way, our family life would miss out on some of the snap that makes it fun. The three of us can get into some fun exchanges over meals! David and I had it when it was just the two of us and we’re glad that Caroline fits right in.
Parenting and home educating a gfited/2e child is certainly a challenge, But it has given me many gifts as well and for that I am profoundly thankful.