it is a delicate dance with this boy. mustering courage to lead him where i am not confident myself, but also listening for him to lead me too; to show me what is too far, what is too much, and then taking the feedback and attempting to strike a compromise between fear and growth, not heeding too much of one or the other. in other ways he is racing ahead and i feel i am not enough to keep up with his interests and energy and high level of need. this is the daily push and pull and nuance with which our gifts beseech us. it is literally as if a new person is being birthed in me and i continue to labor - the expansion ever occurring in fits and starts over and over again.
it's a challenge to feel understood. he feel things more intensely than it seems others do, and in this rebirth, i am (re)discovering and learning to accept my sensitivities and the impact that his have on me as well, whether it is by empathetic exchange or epigenetics or just an awakening to something that has always been, it is real to me now as it is for him. regular activities need a great deal of planning, energy, and modulation. transitions are ripe with anxiety of anticipating and planning the next scene as i work to reassure him and answer for myself: do i know what to expect? have i been through this before? will the stimuli be too overwhelming? will i have a safe place? what will i do if it gets too hard? will i be accepted? will anyone understand me? why is this so hard for me? on the converse his passion and focus are unparalleled. he is an excellent communicator and he is exploring topics well above age-level.
in this journey i am being refined. i am being called to examine how outside opinions or perceptions affect my behavior and the choices i make. i am being challenged to be an advocate for myself and my family. to stand tall in my own circumstances and not look side to side. i must determine what we need and take action. make sacrifices. be courageous. no one else can do this for me. these are my lifelong weaknesses that are now in the spotlight. those are the things that my motherhood brings.
i find myself wishing for easier circumstances and envious of an alternate reality; feeling 'not enough' for this one. but that's not really the truth. of course there is no mistake in the way things are and we are given what we are given for a perfect purpose. i am blessed with this reality and just like labor, i shall ride the waves of expansion (contractions) and wait for a moment of rest before the next wave. in my "mindful birthing" training i was reminded that each moment in itself is tolerable, it is only overwhelming or scary or painful when we look too broadly. therefore, i shall follow each breath and call upon the spirit for guidance in each moment. and look back over the growth that we all are going through as the clock ticks by.
I am the mom of a Gifted 4 year old with Sensory Processing Disorder. we've known since birth that there was something special about him but it's been a journey of understanding and acceptance and navigating a challenging system where it's hard to get answers, hard to be believed, and hard to find support, and our life is unfolding with lots of grace from God as we are led just where we need to be, step by step. we don't have it all figured out and we don't need to but we are doing our best, and let that be enough.
Resources and more info:
Warning: Parenting a Gifted Child May Be Hazardous to your (Mental) Health Grayson School
It’s not just in your head: Self-care for moms of gifted children Not So Formulaic
I'm Lisa Yau