A gifted individual is a quick and clever thinker, who is able to deal with complex matters. Autonomous, curious and passionate. A sensitive and emotionally rich person, living intensely. He or she enjoys being creative. -definition of giftedness written by the Netherlands Study on Giftedness in Adults

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I Love Books

Reading is awesome. Our whole family really loves to read. The teenlet reads faster than any other person I know. Hubby and I aren't slow readers ourselves. We have bookshelves in every room in the house - and books piled on the floor and every surface they can find. My Kindle makes me happy.

The thing I like so much about reading is that it allows you entry into another world. Fiction (my personal fave) allows you to become part of a world you might never encounter in any other way, whether it's hiding in the hills of Tibet, surviving on yak cheese and terrified of the spirit gods; or in 19th century England, solving the mystery of who is this Anne Catherick. Historical non-fiction and biographies provide insight into a time, a place, or a person that can guide our decisions today and tomorrow. Religious books can provide spiritual guidance to the devout, opening windows to God and your heart to love. Self-help books can give you psychological insights in an effort to strengthen your inner world or heal from past hurts. Parenting books offer perspectives on helping our children become the strong, well-rounded, emotionally secure individuals who are successful (whatever that means) and happy adults. There are many, many more genres that I haven't mentioned that are equally as constructive and/or fun to read. Bottom line is: I just love to read. Reading is an easy pathway to information. And information is my friend.

Which is why it is so weird that I have such a hard time reading parenting books, especially those having to do with giftedness and intensity. What I've read have been fabulous, and I have a gadzillion others in my "to-read" pile. I've learned a lot from what I've read. I've met (virtually, at least) many of the authors and they are fabulous people. I continue to buy new books on giftedness, knowing that knowledge is power, and the more I know the more I can help my child and others who are struggling with their own giftedness/gifted children. Oh, and myself, too.

I think that's the thing that keeps me from opening those books - the more I learn for the teenlet, the more connected I become with my own giftedness. It's disconcerting. I'm old enough and I've managed to get this far in life without knowing all this stuff, and it's a little upsetting to take a look back through life and see all these markers I didn't know were supposed to be telling me anything. The more I learn to help my child, the more in touch with my own intensities I become. And that is at once freeing and frustrating. How wonderful to realize that I'm not a freak of nature - all of this stuff is there for a reason. But it's also frustrating because as I'm learning about it, it takes on this new life that has been hidden all these years.

But I keep reading. I pick up those books less frequently than others, but I still pick them up. I put them down for longer periods as I readjust to new realities, new images, new ideas about why we are the way we are (these are usually things the teenlet and I have strongly in common, since our intensities are nearly identical). I read them because the better I understand myself, the better I can understand my child. 

5 comments:

  1. Just reading this one post (which I came to from Supporting Gifted Learners on Facebook), I feel like I am both behind you and ahead of you on the same journey. My kids, both gifted, are now 31 and 33, well established in their professional lives, and reasonably happy - but struggling to find partners. At 56, I'm suddenly realizing that I am still different from others and that's both all right and an opportunity to reclaim my full self, which I've purposely sublimated in the traditional role of "wife and mother." Thanks for sharing this. I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog.

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  2. " it's a little upsetting to take a look back through life and see all these markers I didn't know were supposed to be telling me anything."

    And, for me, knowing how hard I am fighting for my young child, it makes me angry that my parents did not fight as hard for me, and how different difficult things/situations might have been if they had. I wonder if learning all this now, making sense of it all now, I will get to a point where I am okay with who I am.

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  3. So happy to see this.

    I get a little whelmed when swimming through these "gifted homeschoolers" blogs, b/c there is so much emphasis on the kids-- but I discovered giftedness b/c of me.

    What my kids were doing seemed utterly normal, b/c isn't that what all kids do if you don't give them baby talk? I mean, my mom was reading "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" to me and my sister at ages 2 and 5, and we were begging for "just one more chapter" at bedtime. So my kids doing similarly wasn't unusual.

    Isn't that what all kids do?

    My mom still doesn't listen to my hints that she's gifted, and for all of her Proud Mama encouragement still will dismiss my gifted-discoveries (those "markers" you're talking about) as just "normal."

    And now that I'm more secure in my "new" identity, I don't care so much, but it does make me watch my children differently. I don't know what to expect from them, or where the zero-point is. And I kinda don't want to know, sometimes, because I'm afraid all the inherent competition and value-labeling will take root and be a major distraction.

    What I wish I could see more homeschool mamas talking about their OWN stretching and intensities as they confine themselves to homeschooling. That would be of great use to me.

    Do you know of any doing that well?

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    Replies
    1. Check out Christine Fonseca's blog at http://christinefonseca.wordpress.com. She has a variety of bloggers who blog daily on monthly theme topics about living as gifted adults.

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