I got the kids to testing on time!
I was sure I was going to mess it up. I even managed to make scrambled eggs and toast for them for breakfast before they went. I packed snacks and water bottles. They had sharpened pencils and calculators. I WAS ON FIRE!
I got a few odd looks taking my 12 and 13 year old kids in among the hundred plus high school kids in line but no one said anything and no one questioned it. I’m guessing they were all too nervous. The ladies checking my girls in didn’t look at them twice. I saw one lady look at them then walk back to someone else, say something, and come back but I’m going to choose to believe that was coincidence.
Generally, I keep what I’m doing with my kids close to the vest. I was always an awful “mom blogger” because I hated violating their privacy or telling stories I felt were theirs and not mine. I’m doing what all parents do. Looking at what I’ve been given to work with and figuring out how to best turn it from a lump of kid-clay into a grown-folk who can go out and have a life of their own. I don’t know loads of important people, so I need to get them into environments where they can be seen. I don’t know, really, how smart or talented or funny my kids are. I think they’re great people but I’m not an objective judge of what they really bring to the table. So I research and choose to have them tested to see if they qualify for things like the Northwestern Center for Talent Development. If they don’t, that’s fine. If only one does, that’s fine. (Duke, Johns Hopkins, and the Western Academic Talent Search have similar programs.)
I don’t mind if my kids turn down any opportunity, but I would be heartbroken if they didn’t have the option simply because I didn’t do enough research. Of course, the programs they may qualify for will cost money. A lot of money. The summer program is thousands of dollars. It’s the reason Mr. Brickie and I are so happy about the opportunity he has been given through going to this training in Maryland. Our family sacrificing him for two weeks is truly for the whole family. If we can get him in there making money as soon as possible and pay down debt, we’ll be able to use the freed up money to send the kids to camps that will allow them to learn new things and meet new people. People from different places and cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Every day I look at my children and feel this crushing pressure. I have to be good enough for them. I have to do the research and read the reviews and figure out how to help them find what they truly desire in this life. To guide without pushing. To ask without expectation. To help them learn to make decisions and choices on their own. In the meantime, I want them to try as many things as possible so they don’t miss the thing that could have been THEIR thing.
The way I’ve always felt like somehow I missed what my thing was supposed to be. I’m fairly good at a large number of things but there’s no one thing that really defines who I am. I have always wished there was. Like an anchor. Hello, my name is jennydecki and I’m an accountant. Hello, my name is jennydecki and I’m a spree killer. You know, whatever, something that makes me….me. Beyond just my name.
I don’t want my children to spend their lives feeling this constant sense of being adrift.