Dear Phoenix

Dear Phoenix;

We received the results from the School Board on your cognitive assessment this week.  The results were not at all surprising.  You've been officially recognized as "exceptional in the category of Intellectual Giftedness."

My heart burst and I swallowed back tears as I listened to the System Designate tell me what a purely joyful boy you were to interact with, and how she thoroughly enjoyed your animated conversation and enthusiasm for the test.  She described how, as the test became harder, you seemed lit up by the challenge.  She told me that in her history of presenting this test to students throughout the Board, she'd not seen the results you gave nor met a student quite so eager to push through the challenging limits.

I'm thrilled that as a result of this testing, you'll have access to programming that will engage you and summon you to dig deeply for your intellectual potential.  

But I have to be honest, my baby.  The results of your test are not what make me proud of you.

I am proud of you because of your good, good heart.  I am proud of you because of your natural inclination to reach out to those around you who might need a friend or a hand to hold.  I am proud of you because of the patience and inclusion you are willing to show your little sisters, and how you see them, hear them, and make them a part of your daily life.  I am proud of the way in which you are willing to try new things, to take on what life has to offer.  Your intellect, though astoundingly impressive and exciting, is not what makes me proudest to be your mom.  

I need you to know that though your intellect is a part of your identity here in this body, it isn't who you are.  I don't want you to confuse your worth or your responsibilities as a human being, with the capacity with which you acquire or apply knowledge.  We simply cannot be summed up by standardized tests, because we aren't standardized beings.  Thank Goddess for that!

You aren't- and will never be- anything that could potentially be taken from you.  That is to say, my baby, that you aren't anything that is finite or has an end date.

I also want you to know, Phoenix, that is is okay to not know.  It's okay to make mistakes, to not get it right the first time, to fall down, to draw a blank, to admit that you don't have the answer.  Your worth and love-abillity are in no shape, way, or form, tied to how often you can come up with the "correct" answer.  May your free-wheeling enthusiasm for growth never be impeded by the expectation of needing to "get it right."  

I love you so much, my sweet love.  Thank you for being one of my greatest teachers, for coming to me when I needed it most, and for bringing such a delicious sweetness to this family.



Laura Biddle2 Comments