self serving therapeutic rant

This is an odd quote to have rocked my world, but it did. It's from an article that Jeremy found.

4. Children and adults can be assessed at any age. However, the ideal age for testing is between 5 and 8 ½ years. By the age of 9, highly gifted children may hit the ceiling of the tests, and gifted girls may be socialized to hide their abilities. Unless they are absolutely certain they are right, gifted girls are often unwilling to guess, which lowers their IQ scores. (emphasis mine)

I don't know if I was ever in that category or not but the concept of having that socialized into girls by 9 is ominous and rings true for me. I have never figured out how to be proud of my accomplishments, abilities and gifts without the perception that I'm making other people feel bad. Bragging. Showing off. Guilt, the everlasting guilt. A lot of that training happened through school. I understand why it was done, but it's affected my concept of self permanently.

Net result? I second guess things all the time that I know. I did not notice this until I read the above quote and now I see it many times a day. Part of me went underground. I tried to downplay it and certainly never, ever went above and beyond what was (is) required. I'm often able to learn things really quickly, but when I don't it has been clearly pointed out to me that I'm not-so- perfect after all and oh thank goodness she sucks at something. This must where my fear of failure developed so strongly. I don't recall many times where I was genuinely encouraged to take on more, follow my nose and challenge myself with harder material. It was always about slowing me down. I may have selective memory.

I desperately wish that someone would have opened my mind to other options back when I was applying for university at the very least. I always got "you could do better if you put in more time" but never had any reason to care. I wanted to be a nurse for a while. Nobody said hey, that's cool but if you applied yourself to your science and math courses you could shoot for physio or doctor! I am also from a small, conservative town and that's a huge part of it as well. You're a smart girl, do you want to be a teacher, nurse or social worker before you have kids? *sigh* Social worker? Check. Kids? Check.

I don't know if it's too late to learn to trust that part of my brain. I fear it's mostly sawdust by now and don't even know what I'd apply it to anyway. I haven't really learned to work hard, don't have good study habits and am terrified to try new things because I might not get it right and other people will enjoy that (in my mind). I have this vague but looming sense that I had something special and lost it. Wasted it. Failed. I sound like I'm 90. Other days I feel more inspired by possibilities but don't know where to focus the energy.

All this baggage and I'm supposed to help my girls navigate these waters successfully?



A "low" of 21 tonite, this is summer at it's peak. I embrace it but I'm running out of ideas for suppers to pack for the beach. We normally spend part of the morning outdoors gardening/playing, head in for lunch, naps and reading, then off to the beach by 4 at the latest. Home for bedtime. I love my glass of wine on the patio in the warm, quiet evening air. Come to think of it the crickets are crazy loud this year but it's a good background noise.

This week's been a bit busier as Ivy is in art camp (loving it) and Ella is taking an intro to Irish dance class (loving it). That is the extent of our special programs for summer. It's a vivid reminder of all we're NOT doing by opting out of traditional school. Lunches, deadlines, schedules, driving, driving, driving.

Yes, we're going to home school again in fall with the same program. We're getting the hang of it a little and understand more clearly which hoops need to be jumped through and to know which ones are worth it. That will continue to evolve of course as we gain experience but it feels good for it to be familiar for fall. I don't want to do anything differently because we all enjoyed last year. Not every moment of course, but overall it was fantastic. Towards the end of the school year we met a few more families in the area that work with the same program and have kids of similar ages. Looking forward to doing some collaborating in fall.

Pottery has tapered off for the summer. The building that the guild is in is old and the wiring can't handle the kilns when there is a heavy a/c draw. Fall will come soon enough I suppose and I have a lot of work drying, ready to be fired when the time comes.

I've been slack on the canning front so far, better get on that cherry thing before they're gone!

Time to head out to that patio and enjoy the stars...


status update

I was going to try to compose a beautiful essay on the deep emotional content of my trip home to Winnipeg but I'm sick, irritable and in need of more sleep. And possibly I didn't think that deeply anyway while I was driving between engagements and chasing children down the streets. Jeremy's version of the trip is great though, so go read his posts and enjoy the amazing photos while I cash in early and continue to ignore this blog.