Beholden: Part One

I come from an attractive family. I don’t just mean the immediate family, it spans generations, and they are not only attractive they are also very intelligent, and yes it spans generations for intelligence too. I surmise that right about now it is possible you are thinking to yourself, really, why would she say something like that, it so lacks humility, and that possible response is exactly why I am having such trouble getting these words down in black and white.

Some of the things I want to reflect upon are the difficulties of being the mother of the intelligent, a child of a stunning beauty, and a relation of the brilliant, and to somehow do this without being dismissed in the same sort of the way the problems of the monetarily wealthy are dismissed as trivial; as if money insulates against the pervasiveness of sin.

It might help to illuminate where I am trying to go with this if I share one of my own erroneous dismissals. You see, I am overweight and have struggled with it for most of my life, and for years I have been dismissive towards those who were struggling to shed what I considered to be trivial or insignificant amounts of weight. That is just wrong,  simply because their total extra poundage might be less than mine that does not make the struggle to reduce it any less difficult for them.

The same can be said of intelligence, just because an individual’s IQ might be greater than others, it does not mean their struggles with learning and coping in school are less; they are just of a different magnitude, like my weight.

If I had realized this way back forever ago, perhaps I would have been better able to communicate effectively and therefore not have felt the need to withdraw from the gatherings of mothers. For within these groups, frequently I was chided with being insensitive if I tried to discuss my children. Their problems with school were dismissed as trivial and insignificant because of their intelligence, and therefore it was assumed that what reason would I have to speak of these things, other than to  brag.

Wow was that insulting. With distance, and to be kind, I don’t think they thought it through to the logical end of their accusation, if only because I do not want to believe that was their opinion of me, I am into self-preservation like that.

Hence, being the mother of the gifted has been a mostly solitary adventure. I bring this up only because I know that I cannot be the only one to experience this dismissal. Additionally I am not special; I know that I have been guilty of being dismissive myself.

So next time I come across someone I think is just a wee bit out of touch with reality, I hope I will remember to listen a little closer and try to discern their intent, because just maybe, they are a lonely mom trying to communicate while being equipped with inadequate social skills.

Beholden: Part Two