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Aug 19 2014

My Kids Are Pretty Much Average

By at 12:01 pm

c-plus

A few weeks ago, I was at a 3-year-old’s birthday party, and I put my 6-month-old son down next to another baby. The other child effortlessly rolled across the blanket, while my son, a few weeks younger, mortified his mama by crying, in place, on his tummy. Oh no, I wondered, is my child not going to be a gifted athlete? Maybe he won’t be as flexible as his brother? Are these early signs of some kind of processing delay? I panicked. Will he be popular, or an outcast among fast-moving little boys? And the terror took hold.

Have you had that fear about your child? The fear that bubbles up when you notice they are not particularly good at singing, drawing or academics? You retaliate by frantically signing them up for soccer, karate, and music classes. You become certain that if you keep trying to find it, the prodigy in your child will emerge. You talk to other parents, trying to gain reassurance that all children are special at something. The other parents may even soothe your anxiety by pointing out how smart your child is because he knows 50 more words than the average kid his age. You placate your own worries by repeating that old idea that everybody has a special talent they excel at. Surely your child will find theirs at some point.

At the birthday party, my friends pointed out the benefits of a kid who doesn’t move: fewer worries about baby-proofing the house and those lurking dangers at the park. They referenced other children we knew who didn’t move until after a year (oh gosh!) but who were doing just fine on the playground now. Many also pointed out that while he may not be able to move, my son was so gorgeous and smart.

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Nov 6 2013

When One Son Wins an Award & The Other Son is Jealous

By at 11:59 am

prizemoneyhoney

My middle child won an award last week. It wasn’t a Pulitzer, an Oscar, or a Nobel, but it did come with a ceremony and a cash prize. And it did prompt his older brother to whine, “How come he always wins everything and I never win anything?”

I took a moment to remind my son that the previous few months had been more or less a non-stop party dedicated to the theme of: Yay, You Got into NYC’s Top Public High School.

“That’s not the same,” he pouted. “I never get prizes for the things I do.”

I noted that he’d won the handwriting prize at school–twice! (Anyone remember the book/movie The Bad Seed where the mother laments, “What kind of school gives out only one award, and it’s for penmanship!”)

I recalled that he was picked to be featured in an art exhibition where he was the sole child among adults (my husband observed at the time, “I think we’ve got the only artist here with a bedtime.”). Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 19 2012

Why I’m The Most Perfect Mom. Right? Right?

By at 2:18 pm
Ellis Island

I spent hours planning this educational field trip to Ellis Island for my kids...

We were sitting on the ferry as the sunset painted the New York skyline a rosy gold. It was an unseasonably warm January day, and I’d taken my boys and baby daughter with my husband to the museum at Ellis Island. Read the rest of this entry →

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