I believe that all humans are valuable, having been made in the image of God.
I believe everyone is gifted in different ways.
And those who are less gifted have something important to give to the world.
I believe God has a place in this world for each one of His children.
I believe that no matter what you are given in this life, you can rise above it, or rise because of it and triumph.
I can give a convincing argument and actually believe all that.
But when it's my own son, I have to face that what I really value is intelligence. The kind that gets you into an Ivy League university and hired into a corner office.
When we were getting ready for Boo, HH and I prayed that he would be smart. That was the only thing we prayed for. Yes, yes, healthy. But above all, smart. We didn't ask for athletic or pretty or tall or charming. We asked God for Smart. I am sure HH meant it when he said because it would be the right fit. And I must have believed that too. But dig a little deeper and I meant I wanted Smart because Smart means an Ivy League education, a nice marriage and a house in the suburbs.
Last summer, a dear, sincere friend and I were laying on our chairs at the pool chatting about this and that. She knows about Boo's struggles and asked me if it was harder because I was smart. I have long believed that to know I was intelligent was to understand I was merely the recipient of good genes that were passed down to me; that it was not my own doing
Even as I answered, "Yes...." Even as the word came out of my mouth it rang false...dissonant...arrogant.
As the week went by, that exchange kept coming back to me. Raising Boo is NOT hard because I am *so* smart! It is hard because I am Impatient. Is impatience linked with Intelligence? No! May it never be! Quick-tempered by nature, I get impatient with this child, this special treasure, this precious one because....? Why? Merely because of my nature? or is there something stinking in the cellar?
Here's what I learned: I get impatient because I am not actually interested in helping him learn, but because I want him to fit into my world. Fit into my mold of Smart = Valuable. Fit into this peg, dammit!
Fill in the blank. Push the right button. Pull the right lever. Ding! Ding! Ding!! Then you will be of True Value. In my eyes.
And that is just. plain. dumb.