I spend a lot of time on what is hard about gifted, 2e and QuASIE. Between wallowing in my own challenges and helping other people with theirs, life can look pretty bleak. I realize that’s a skewed perspective — after all, people don’t darken my doorstep and pay me to tell me that everything is hunky-dory in their lives.
However, because Thanksgiving is coming up in my part of the world, it seemed like the right time to mull over some of the good things that have come my way because of raising my 2e kid. So here’s my list:
- Parenting a 2e kid gives me compassion for other parents who are struggling. I think I’m less judgemental (gosh I hope I am…) when I see parents out in public whose kids are having a hard time, or when I talk with parents who are feeling overwhelmed. I get it, I’ve been there, you don’t have to convince me.
- Parenting a 2e kid makes me a better parent. I think that a 2e child will tolerate nothing less than the most mindful, carefully thought-through parenting. I have to be on my toes, manage my own emotions, and keep trying new stuff. Maybe one day my child will realize this, but in the meantime I can be pretty confident I rock as a mom (except of course when I doubt myself…).
- Parenting a 2e kid helps me appreciate the small victories. One of my clients mentioned the other day that they sometimes feel goofy getting excited over what would look like a small thing to other parents — some little sign of improvement, like their child writing a thank you note, or managing a long car drive. I so resonated with that — when you have a child who struggles with things that come easily to others, “small things” aren’t small.
- Parenting a 2e kid led to MY FAVORITE JOB EVER. I wonder, does the fact that I love what I do show?
- Parenting a 2e kid has given me an opportunity to make the world a better place. Like a lot of gifted folks, I want the world I leave to be better than when I showed up. This is a really hard thing, when there are so many things wrong. I’m really lucky that the world of 2e fell into my lap, and gives me nearly daily feedback that I am making a difference.
- Parenting a 2e kid has let me have a comrade in silliness and laughter much sooner than I think I would have otherwise. Advanced sense of humor? Yep, we got that at our house. And being able to share jokes, puns, laughter and silliness with a young person is priceless. I mean, being there when he sees Monty Python the first time? What’s not to like?
- Parenting a 2e kid has brought me closer to my spouse. Ok, this is not a given, and I realize I’m incredibly fortunate on that score. We did infertility together, which sucked. We were in the lucky group — not just because we ended up with a baby, but because the experience didn’t break us up. So it goes for parenting our puggle — the level of connection and teamwork necessary has forged even stronger bonds.
So that’s my list — what’s yours?