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A Tale of 2 Drop-offs: Anxious & Excited

Just dropped the girlies off at Camp.  Overnight for 2 weeks.  Their flurry of packing has demolished the house.  But I don’t mind.

You see, WT (World Traveler) husband is in Brussels for a week for work, so I’m all by myself!  Whoot!  I have stocked up and am looking forward to eating cereal for dinner and bon bons for breakfast and anything else I feel like doing!

Reading books, yes!  Exercising, yes! Sleeping, yes!  Cooking, no!  (Well, our stove is broken anyway.) Nagging, no!  Yelling, no!  Acting as the frontal lobe for everyone else in the family, N-to-the-O!

The drop-off just demonstrated for me again, the differences between my children.  Sometimes I know Lily’s world so well, that I forget that it’s not ‘normal’, until I see Zoolander in the same situation and realize again that her reactions are more like other kids’.

Actually, that’s how we finally realized that Lily was different than other babies.  After Zoolander was born, we were surprised to discover, “Ohhhh, that’s how babies are supposed to act!  You mean, you can actually follow the instructions in those baby books and they work??!!  Holy crap, THIS is a piece of cake!”

Photo by Zoolander

Both the girls’ counselors came to our car to help with the luggage.  Without question I knew that I would go with Lily to her cabin first, to help her transition.  Of course, she was anxious.  Zoolander was on her own with a stranger.  Of course, she didn’t care.

I helped Lily make her bed and there was one other girl in the cabin.  I overheard the girl tell the counselor that she attends ‘Suchandsuch Academy’, a private school that specializes in educating Twice Exceptional students and students with learning differences.  Hmmmm.  Maybe Lily will pick up on that.  She usually does.  She has told me before, “Mom, that girl/boy is like me.”

Last summer, the one girl she really made friends with at camp, turned out to be in her Gifted and Talented class this year.  [An aside–Just read an interesting post at Asynchronous Scholars’ Fund about helping Gifted kids ‘find their tribe’.]

Anyway, a gaggle of her cabin-mates arrived loudly and Lily instantly retreated, turned away, wouldn’t make eye contact, didn’t introduce herself.  I sensed it was time for me to split, before she wanted me to help her out of this social situation.  I quickly left, but wished I had given her a better pep talk beforehand–reminding her specifically how to be friendly.  It makes my stomach hurt thinking about it.

But I know that the counselors will include her and help her warm up.  The young counselors always seem to know what to do and how to handle her.  And that’s just one of the reasons why we spend the money to send Lily to this amazing camp that encourages campers to be themselves and to respect others for their differences, so that she can practice her social skills in a safe place.

Photo by Zoolander

As I walked down the road approaching Zoolander’s cabin, I could see her standing on the balcony waving wildly.  When I walked up, she was jumping up and down she was so excited and talking, talking, talking, “Mom, isn’t this awesome.  I love this balcony.  I got a top bunk.  I was worried about that, but I got a top bunk and it has a shelf where I can put my stuff.  Remember my friend I met last year? She’s going to be here and she’s in my cabin and isn’t that so great.”  Zoolander didn’t even notice when I left.

The Gift of Creativity

World’s Worst Boss

I love this post from Jen at Laughing at Chaos.   Executive Function: I hate this CEO.

A great description of the frustration of parenting a kid who has difficulty with Executive Function.  My frontal lobe hurts just thinking about it.

Normal Gets You Nowhere

I got a Nook for Mother’s Day and I am in love with it!  I recently downloaded a book called Normal Gets You Nowhere by Kelly Cutrone.

Kelly Cutrone is the founder of the fashion public relations, branding, and marketing firm People’s Revolution.  She stars in Kell on Earth on Bravo and has appeared on MTV’s The Hills and The City.

I did catch her show on Bravo a couple of times and enjoyed watching her sometimes train-wreck-y confrontational style, but I really only bought the book on a whim because of the title.

I don’t know what I expecting, but was very excited to find the following excerpt, which seems especially fitting for my Twice-Exceptional daughters.  In fact, I think this is an important message for all 2E kids.

“Basically, this book is for freaks. In my opinion, we need to raise an army of supertalented uberfreaks if we’re ever going to really change the world-since it’s only freaks who ever have. Look at Steve Jobs, Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, Vivienne Westwood, The Mother, Nelson Mandela, Indira Gandhi, Benjamin Franklin, Bono, Vincent Van Gogh, Paco Rabanne, Che Guevara, Amelia Earhart, Leonardo Da Vinci, Pope Joan, Leonard Cohen, Beethoven, Albert Einstein, Joan of Arc… well, you get the picture.  How many of these people followed anyone else’s rules?  Could any of them possibly be considered anything close to normal?

Let’s pause for a moment to see what Merriam-Webster has to say about “normal”:

nor-mal: 2 a: according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle; b: conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern; 4 a: of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development.

Duh.  I rest my case.  Who wants to be that?

By now you probably know that I have little patience for the teachers, parents, bosses and even friends who tell everyone they need to sit quietly and fit in.  History is full of successful, world-changing people who did not fit in and were definitely not normal. Instead of changing themselves to accommodate the status quo or what others thought they should be, these people put a spotlight on their differences—and changed humanity in the process.  Is it possible that the so-called normal people, the ones doing things the way the majority of people are doing them, are the crazy ones?

It’s time we started seeing words like “kooky,” “abnormal,” “crazy,” “eccentric,” and “freak” as what they are:  character differentiation.  I know you don’t feel normal, so why are you trying to act it and prove to everyone you are?

And once you agree you’re actually as distinctive and individual as your thumbprint- even if you’ve been programmed to behave in “normal” ways-then what? How do we use our specific eccentricities to make a difference in ourselves, our immediate community, our chosen field of employment, and ultimately the world?

I think it’s absolutely essential for you to know you are sacred, magical, and special, to nurture that truth and unleash it into the world.”

Kelly Cutrone
Normal Gets You Nowhere

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