I went to a luncheon yesterday that had someone speaking about achieving academic success. He had an interesting perspective and I learned quite a bit. However the most interesting part was the discussion at my table after the presentation. I walked in late and didn't know any of my dining companions. Everyone at the table had brilliant children. I'm pretty sure my mouth was open the entire time as I heard about all the achievements their kids had earned.
The attention then turned to me and a request to present my children's resume was in front of me. I had nothin'. Without thinking, I said, "compared to all of you, my kids are not only remedial, but they are severely lacking any kind of motivation to do anything and I'm definitely going home to kick some academic ass." There were a few uncomfortable chuckles, but that's about it. I was severely shunned the rest of the hour. This next paragraph is for all of those ladies:
Remember how we exchanged emails at the end of the lunch? I'm sure you all threw mine out the minute we left, but I kept yours in order to send you something I wrote a couple years ago. I know I'm not raising valedictorians. However they have so much more than you will ever be able to appreciate. Read the following words and let me know if you notice any of these things in your own kids:
After a recent parent-teacher conference, my daughter's teacher went through the homework, tests, evaluations, etc. At the end, she sounded almost apologetic and said, your daughter is just average. I saw her about a week later and she asked how I was, almost like I should be incredibly depressed that my child is, dare I put it in print again, AVERAGE.
I'm sure many of you live in a world that is just like mine. Nobody has a kid that is average. They all have academic geniuses and are testing well beyond their grade. They're in accelerated everything, and nailed the ACT even though they haven't started high school yet.
I don't think I know anyone who has an average kid. Which doesn't really make sense, does it? Just by the definition, average would indicate that probably most kids would fall in that category. But weird, I've never heard anyone say their kid is average.
Well apparently my kid is. Let me tell you a few other things about her.
- She makes me laugh EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
- Talks constantly
- Reads to her little brother every night and makes outrageous character voices so he really gets into the story
- She has such incredible intensity in sports that I am in complete awe when I watch her compete
- I often get little notes from her letting me know how special I am
- She thanks me for dinner every night, which is huge since I don't make it often (wait, maybe she's being sarcastic there)
- When she gets in trouble and has to fold the laundry, she's furious. But ten minutes later I see her in there dancing with every item she picks up and singing at the top of her lungs. If I walk in, she just smiles and asks if I want to join her
- There are no strangers in her world. She makes friends as easily as you and I breath
- She brings light into an otherwise dark room
- Other people's feelings are always put in front of her own. If there is a large group of kids and anyone is sitting by themselves, she is the first over there asking them to join
- She knows everything about everyone and for a good hour after school, I need to hear about all the drama in the day, in detail. Great detail. Pretty much every single word of every conversation
- She loves salad. She could eat salad every day for every meal and be happy
- The computer is littered with her performing music videos and trying new hairstyles
- In soccer, she competed with three girls one weekend, and coincidentally competed against them the next weekend. She played like a champ and showed no mercy. After the game, she gave them all bracelets that she spent hours making to assure them that the battle would be left on the field
- Her feet stink. Sometimes even through her soccer cleats
- She gets it. She understands how life works, and she's not even out there yet. Hard to explain how I know it, but she gets it
- She defines the word charisma
- She can walk into any situation and be comfortable. No matter how out of place, she finds a way to own it
So to the teacher that looked at me with those big sad eyes because I have an average kid, and the parents that don't know what to say when I report that my child isn't taking any accelerated classes, save your pity. It's not needed here.
If all those things that I listed above are what it means to be average, then I'll take it.
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