I opened an envelope this week that could change the course of our lives.
OK, maybe that is a bit overly dramatic. But we had Declan tested for the Highly Gifted and Talented program this year. And yes, the results are in. I won’t bore you with the details, but yes. They want him.
The few people we have told have said things like, “Well, I’m not surprised.”
To be honest… we were.
Because – at the risk of sounding like a total asshole, there is a difference between being smart and being gifted. A big one. Smart kids know the answers, gifted kids want to understand the questions. These results don’t prove my son is smart – they prove he thinks differently. In fact, lots of kids who are gifted also have learning disabilities. Which is why I think they are testing children earlier and earlier now for HGT, seeing as that sort of stuff *really* doesn’t come into play till middle school and above.
And that’s the thing. We *really* need to think about this for middle school and above, because *that* is where a lot of HGT kids get lost in the shuffle, in the hormones, and in the system.
My husband and I are examples.
Oh, sure, we did fine, and there are a million reasons why we are the way we are and did what we did in school, which in a nutshell was… coast. Bryan in particular was a conundrum for his family, and to this day they really don’t get him. But he was that gifted kid who did just enough to get by. And was (is) interested in just about everything, so couldn’t commit to that one thing, which is why he had 5 years and 50 majors in college.
He just thinks differently.
Along comes Declan, so similiar to both of us in so many ways, so we really hadn’t thought through what that might mean for him.
The good news for us is that our school district gets him. His educators get him. I emailed his teacher the night we got the letter and had a long, long email back from her before bed. Like she knew it was coming and had something in her drafts waiting for me. Which I forwarded to Bryan. And we discussed. And we have been thinking about. And we discussed some more.
The net net?
For right now? Not much.
He is in second grade, and these years are important on so many levels, social aspects ranking very very high with us. So, for now, that envelope pretty much means nothing to Declan and he doesn’t even know of its existence.
But for later?
Yes. We’ll be remembering that envelope later.