Epiphany Day!

Here’s what I am thinking about today (I know you care):

Usually, I write about my struggles and shortcomings and how difficult it is for ordinary me to navigate the extraordinary world of my children.  But, today, I had an epiphany.  YEA ME! 🙂

I believe life (circumstances, events, God) prepares you for what comes next…you go through this challenge to make you stronger for the next challenge, etc.

For example:  I AM completely convinced that at age 19, I was given the challenge to love and raise my son all alone, for a REASON.  It had a purpose.  (It had about 26, 569 purposes, but I’m focusing on one specific one today)


Me and my favorite son


Yep…here he is again

Now, 22 years later, when my awesome husband travels or deploys, I don’t shove myself in a lonely corner, curl up in the fetal position and avoid showering for a month.  It’s all good.

And I believe it is all good because I survived challenge #1, preparing me for challenge #2.


At the airport, before deployment 2010

Often, I wonder why I was blessed with these brilliant little people and WHO in this universe thought I was capable of navigating this exhausting journey (mostly alone).  I may be independent enough to do the day-to-day things, but raising geniuses???  The stork stopped at the wrong house.  Big mistake.  Who do these kids belong to?

For real!

I think about this.

Every.  Single.  Day.

It’s confusing.  Overwhelming.

Sometimes, I cry.

Wouldn’t my daughters learn more if their momma was a published scientist?  A renowned inventor?  A noted surgeon?  Someone who understood math, someone who paid attention in school, someone different…someone “better” than me.

I.  Am.  Ordinary. 

In my previous life, I taught art in the public school world.  I loved my students (still love many of them!), loved my co-workers (still love them, too!) and LOVED the bursts of chaotic creativity, hands-on, crazy messy creations, the smell of new acrylic paint (I wasn’t sniffing the paint, FYI), the smooth, glassy texture of a polished sculpture and witnessing the confidence of a student grow through self-expression.

To this day, I close my eyes and clearly see my last art room (I taught in 6 different rooms during my career), one towering wall full of windows, beautifully excessive, organized storage cabinets EVERYWHERE (sooooooo much storage that there were EMPTY cabinets waiting to be filled! OH MY!!!!), and rows of freshly wiped tables with round plastic stools pushed underneath.

I loved that room.

Actually…I helped design it.  When the high school added a new wing, four brand new art rooms were included in the plans and I designed solutions and drew ideas to create the perfect environment for a 3-D creativity lab.  My favorite part was this enormous metal grid that hung from the ceiling, for dangling wet sculptures or displays or decorations or whatever.

It was a masterpiece.

You might be surprised to hear that I am not a very good artist.  HA!  DUH!  I am ordinary!  I have not been lying to you! 🙂

My college degree is IN art, but I am not super talented.

I’m just ok.

You might also be surprised to hear that during the 2002-2003 school year, I was named the Secondary Teacher of the Year for the entire school district…the FIRST fine arts teacher EVER to receive that honor. 🙂

teacher of the year

Pic of us at the A+ Teacher banquet

So…how could a no-so-great art teacher gain such a high honor?

Hmmmm…I’m thinking…I’m thinking…

I never said I wasn’t a good TEACHER…just not a super talented artist.  Here’s the thing:  You can be the world’s most talented artist (or a famous musician, or a brilliant mathematician, or a published author)…but that does not make you a “good” teacher.

Today’s epiphany:

I am a good teacher.

I am a good teacher.

Good teacher.

What makes a “good” teacher?

Good teachers inspire students to grow, to see the world in a different way, to appreciate life and embrace change.


Willow and Sage at the museum for the 1,000th time.

Good teachers think outside of the educational box.


Building swings and levers from vines

Good teachers are problem solvers.  What works for one student might not work for another.  A good teacher understands different learning styles.


Taking notes at the Holocaust Museum


Building the Nile River


Cooking during our Christmas Carol and Charles Dickens literary unit study

Good teachers study, search, read, seek, and question.


A note from my youngest daughter before our homeschooling journey began.

Good teachers aren’t afraid to try new things.


Yes…we mummified a chicken

Good teachers adapt, “tweak” lessons, and evolve over time to improve their approach.


Cultural field trips and experiences


Chess! (I have no idea how to play!)

Good teachers love their students, celebrate their unique gifts and encourage them to succeed.

sage dissection

Dissections are her favorite thing.


This one loves to perform.

Good teachers know their own limitations and find ways to challenge students who need more.


Algebra I. Taught on the computer. Enough said.

This is ME.  This is my homeschool.

AM a good teacher.  HA! 

Who knew…

I can say that without sounding braggy, right???  I’m not really good at much else, so please…give me this one…

My previous life as an art teacher prepared me for homeschooling.  CRAZY! 

Wait until I write about my previous homeschool opinions.  LOL  Life is so funny.

Those wonderful years full of hundreds of crazy unique students, challenging circumstances, spilled paint and X-acto knife injuries, brought me to my current journey.

So…my children didn’t need an world-renowned inventor…they needed a good teacher.

I am a good teacher.

If I can’t teach them, I find someone who can.

And…another thing…God gave me these kids because a famous scientist would not have the time to homeschool. 😉


Hey…don’t forget to be awesome!

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MATH…is a four letter word



M. A. T. H.

Obviously, math is a four letter word.

(If you say it out loud over and over again, it starts to sound like a made-up word.)

My earliest memory of math, you ask? I have been sitting here for fifteen minutes searching my brain…came up with nothing. Math has ALWAYS filled my body with nothing but anxiety, confusion and pure fear. Chances are…I have blocked as many “math” memories as humanly possible.

I CAN NOT recall a time that I felt free from its entrapment.

Not true. I felt FREE after college. My art degree required 3 hours of college-level math. Yipppeeee! That is ONE class. EASY!

I tried THREE times…seriously THREE times: College Algebra twice (gave up on that ridiculous dream) and finally “succeeded” with a “C” in Statistics (accomplished in one attempt! Please applaud!!) Sad, I know. It makes me sad to type the reality…my sad, sad math reality.

Six weeks into my junior year in high school, I learned I only needed Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II to graduate. Immediately, I marched into my counselor’s office and dropped Trig.

And…that would explain why I could not pass ONE college-level math class until my third sad attempt. By the time I passed college Statistics, SIX years had passed since my last formal math class…which was just fine with me…because…well…math is a four letter word.

It just does NOT make sense to me! And honestly, I did try (maybe not enough) to “fix” my struggles. Oh, I had tutors along the way…even took a summer school Algebra class in hopes of helping it make sense the next semester. Nope. Nothing.

I ALWAYS believed I would NEVER use math in real life. And, guess what?!?! I NEVER needed it! Ha!


Take that, high school math teacher!

Ok, ok, ok…I use simple math, yes…like balancing a checkbook (Don’t have to do that any longer! Thank you, online banking!), cooking, measuring, etc. But, NEVER once did I need to prove a geometry theory or figure out variables in a multi-step algebraic problem. (Did I say that right??)



YEA! My math nightmare was over! Adulthood is AWESOME and requires NO math from me!


And…I lived blissfully for years and years and never needed that silly four letter.



In 1993, I even managed to give birth to a math genius and NEVER once struggled to help him with math homework. Who knew?!? It IS the PERFECT mom-who-can’t-do-math hook up! He taught himself and attended public school where other people taught him, so I was GOLDEN!

Yep. Never needed that silly four letter word.



I homeschool and I walk a not-so-common homeschool path.

I homeschool my two profoundly gifted daughters–biological ages 9 & 10.

They are both in Algebra I and if I didn’t see each of them come out of my own body, I would swear they are not mine. I am totally convinced we brought home someone else’s children. (If in 10 years we find out that statement is actually true, I will refuse to give them back to you, just FYI “real parents”.)

So, I can NOT do Algebra. I learned last year that my math “capabilities” (and I use that term VERY loosely) hover around 6th grade. Seriously. I have a college degree and can only do 6th grade math. It’s embarrassing.

And for the first time in my life, I regret not paying attention in my high school math classes.

I’m sorry high school math teachers.

I’m sorry I hated your class and I’m sorry I wrote notes to my friends all period (and folded them in a super cool way!) and I’m sorry I never really completed my homework and I’m sorry I probably cheated (Ok, I did cheat) on multiple tests, and I’m sorry I didn’t try.

Mostly, I am sorry I didn’t think I would need math…because…well…I do.

*** Technically, I still don’t NEED to know math–MY GIRLS NEED me to know math and that makes it even more difficult to accept.

I’m working on it.

Math IS a four letter word. Always has been. Always will be.

But…so is “text”!!!

And…thank goodness I can “text” questions to my math genius son or our amazing math tutor.

LIKE that four letter word better anyway. 🙂

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When Willow was in kindergarten, her elementary school collected donations for the Indonesian tsunami victims and survivors.  Some people collected money from those of us parked in the car rider/pick up line and I gladly gave any loose change from the cup holder and my wallet until there were no coins left to give.


I gave coins.

And, I thought I was doing my little part.

One evening, Willow casually mentioned that she was planning to give ALL of her money to the cause and wanted help with gathering her stash.  I can’t recall the exact amount, but she was 5 years old…and she had 5 years worth of Christmas and birthday money, stuffed in sock drawers, broken jewelry boxes and Ziploc baggies.  And she wanted to give it all.




I’m not going to lie to you.  I panicked.

I envisioned her taking all of her money to school and losing it.  I feared someone would steal it. I thought she would regret her decision in a few days and be devastated when she realized ALL of her money was gone.

What if she wanted to buy a Barbie next week?!?!

So, in her little, pink bedroom…surrounded by 5 years worth of coins, one-dollar bills, five-dollar bills and twenty-dollar bills, her mother (DUH–yes…I’m talking about me, but this is an embarrassing part so I’m excusing myself from this section) gently attempted to talk her into only donating a small portion of that saved money.  I…uh…her mom gave several reasons to only give a little and when I…uh…her mom finished talking, a five-year-old Willow said,

“Why wouldn’t I give them all of it?  I don’t need it.  They need it.”

I…uh…her mom got schooled by a kindergartener.

The next morning, that sweet baby girl took a LARGE Ziploc FULL of coins AND paper money and donated every single piece to the suffering victims and survivors in a country hundreds of miles away.

When she jumped in my car that afternoon, she told me that her classmates gave her a standing ovation, but she didn’t understand why.

“I just gave what I had.  Shouldn’t everyone do that?”

And at that moment, I understood that an ordinary mom gave birth to an extraordinary daughter.

Fast forward to today:  Willow is now 10 years old and runs her own charity called Waiting For Me.  She whole-heartedly and completely believes that people who are suffering in our world are waiting for her to help them.  She has served countless people in need through The Star of Hope, The Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, The Children’s Assessment Center and in so many, many, many other ways.

I am unbelievably thankful she ignored the non-sense her ordinary mother (ok, it’s me!) spoke that evening.  It breaks my heart and I am truly ashamed to think I could have extinguished Willow’s extraordinary heart and desire to make a difference with one simple, selfish sentence.  I am so glad she is smarter than me! 🙂

And, just in case you were wondering, she NEVER once mentioned that money EVER again.

She didn’t lose it.

No one stole it.

And she certainly NEVER missed it.

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Life Happened

Super embarrassing fact #1.
It’s been a year and four months since my last blog post.

Super embarrassing fact #2.
I tried for over an hour to locate, hunt-down, remember and/or find my login and password info for this blog. My brain is fried.

Super embarrassing fact #3.
It’s been a year and four months since my last blog post AND I don’t have a good excuse.

AND I’m super sorry.

So…why has it been so crazy long since I’ve sat and spewed my thoughts towards cyberspace? Well…we sold our house and moved to 5.5 acres in August of 2013 and less than a week later, my father had a massive stroke. Honestly, I envisioned a tiny sabatical…maybe take a break for a few months, and had every intention of returning to this blog…

But, life happens.

I don’t really have any Earth-shattering excuses.

My life just happened.

And here I am, a year and four months later, frantically searching for my username. I’m really sorry.

Our extraordinary journey took some unexpected detours while I was M.I.A. and I’m committed to sharing those struggles/challenges/triumphs with you (if there is anyone out there willing to forgive an absentee blogger?!?!)

I’m feeling the creative flow tonight, the dishwasher is running and I’m all caught up on laundry (ok, that’s a lie, but let’s pretend), so sit back, relax and let’s see what I can crank out to get you guys all caught up.

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Tired and Awkward–a FAB combination

I can’t tell you how many times I have sat down at my computer in hopes of producing a clever, informative and thought-provoking blog post.  I know it’s been several weeks.  I know people are going to stop following my ramblings if I don’t post novel ideas on a regular basis.  I’m sorry.

The problem is…

I’m exhausted.

I have 5 “drafts”, all partially written, all staring at me…taunting me…right now.  None of them make sense.  None of them are interesting.  All of them stink.

A sad fact…it’s been weeks since I slept more than 3 or 4 hours at night.  I am running on empty…so if you live close enough to possibly see me in public, don’t judge.

Things are NOT too pretty these days.

And through this sleep deprivation stage, I have recently come to accept a new (and rather sad) realization:

I am socially awkward.  (AND tired, which makes for an embarrassing combination)

When did THAT happen?

As far as I KNOW, it is a recent development.  Others may have different opinions, but in my own little mind, social settings have always been delightful engagements.  I know a lot of people.  I do (did) a lot of different things…belonged to different groups, clubs, etc.  But, it appears my extrovert personality morphed into an unrecognizable, reclusive introvert without my permission.


It must have happened over night because I never even noticed…until now…

So…a friend invited me to dinner.  In my previous life, such invitations were plentiful and enjoyable and a priority.  These days, finding the time to squeeze in a shower is close to impossible, so dinner dates aren’t high on the list.

During dinner, the first thing I noticed was that I had nothing to talk about.  ALL I do is feed my children’s intellectual needs.  I don’t sleep.  I drink too much Coke Zero.  I don’t exercise on a regular basis.  I eat too much chocolate (well…who really defines “too much chocolate”???).  My husband and I rarely go on dates and certainly can NOT afford vacations.  I often go days without seeing another adult.  I don’t shop (unless it is on Amazon for learning supplies) and I don’t watch TV (unless it is an educational program).

I spend my days teaching my daughter.  And, I spend my nights studying so I can teach her the next morning.

I COULD talk about that…long division, Fibonacci’s Numbers, the Inca’s and their civilization, Greek myths, the periodic table, or classifications of the animal kingdom (all subjects we did last week)…but WHO really wants to talk about that?!?  NO ONE.  I don’t even WANT to talk about that.  It’s just ALL I have.

I am VERY uncomfortable talking about my children.  It IS my own issue, stemming from the fear of being judged as boastful or elitist.  Because of that, I tend to go to the other extreme…which is saying nothing…and having nothing to say…

Conversations now feel forced and fake and AWKWARD.  I sometimes feel like I am keeping a BIG secret and I am all consumed with hiding it from the world.  (Like a Ninja…or a secret agent…ha ha…not really…those are COOL things…)

The next painfully obvious realization focused around my clothing.  I like clothes.  I like fashion.  I LOVE color.  In my previous life, I had a fun and funky style and the most amazing shoes.  But, during dinner, I realized I have crossed over into Frump-Land and as the Queen, I no longer own anything fun OR funky…my closet is now filled with comfortable, stretchy and BORING articles of clothing.

I sat there, all uncomfortable.  All AWKWARD.  All embarrassed.  I don’t think my friend noticed, though maybe she did and she felt sorry for me and never mentioned it.

I almost cried when I got home.

I seem to have lost my ability to connect with other adults.  I have nothing to add to a conversation.  My reality evolved and left “Jennifer” behind.

Society rarely accepts the awkward and I wonder how my children are viewed by outsiders.  My girls are awkward…one more than the other…and they certainly do NOT fall under any “normal” category.

As much as it hurt to realize I no longer feel comfortable in social situations, the greater pain came from realizing my daughters feel like this every single day and probably always will.

I read an article years ago about how humans pick up traits of the five people they spend the most time around.  That explains a lot.

What does all of this mean for my family???

It took a few days, but here is what I finally settled on:

MY job is to meet the needs of my children, no matter how extreme or odd or exhausting or all-consuming.

Meeting their needs IS. MY. NEED.

I don’t NEED to be socially awesome or own fun, funky clothes (even though I sometimes miss my amazing shoes).

Who do I need to impress?

I am awkward.  My girls are awkward.

Oh…and I’m tired.

The world just needs to deal with it…and apparently, I NEED to accept it.   😉

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Five Things


1.  We cry A LOT in this house.

Two days ago, the wind swirled the air like a crazy late September hurricane.  In the car-rider line at school, I opened the door to let Willow out and her science review sheet flew into the oncoming traffic.  I tried to catch the flying paper, but the wind won…and it was quickly out of eyesight.  She knew the material–we studied every night for at least a week.  But, Willow possesses a strong attachment to THINGS.  To most EVERY thing.  She cares DEEPLY and she cries INTENSELY.  She cries for the homeless.  She cries for orphans.  She cries for shelter animals.  She cries when people cheat.  She cries when something breaks.  And yes…she cries for review sheets…for 25 minutes…sobbing…in the school parking lot…completely devastated.

We cry a lot.

My youngest daughter, Sage, LOVES Elvis Presley and of course, she understands that he died years ago.  However, after watching a 4 hour documentary that ended with footage of his casket, Sage was inconsolable.  Hyperventilating.  Crying out in pure pain and sorrow.  That session lasted a few hours.

Did I mention we cry a lot in this house?

I can think of at least 213 overly emotional stories.  The day my husband sold his car.  The day Willow learned she was too young to get married.  The time she sobbed because she didn’t know about the permits needed to build an orphanage.

Moments like this happen every day.  Several times a day.

I cry, too.  My children require a SUPER MOM…there is NO down time and I worry about my inability to meet their unique needs.  I am ordinary.  I am tired.  This extreme parenting is sometimes just too overwhelming.

Please understand…our house is NOT a sad house.  My girls are just intense.  Emotionally intense.  They FEEL things and experience life on a plane of intensity unfamiliar to my ordinary emotions.  It’s just the way it is.

2.  We still nap.

A big shocker to most outsiders is that my 7-year-old requires a daily nap and my life semi-revolves around that schedule as if she was still 3 months old.  That child barely sleeps at night.  Her mind races and spins and dances and wreaks havoc all over this family.  A mid-day nap is an essential part of her survival and ability to function.  On the weekends and during summer vacation, BOTH girls take naps.  Active brains need rest.  And I need a shower! 🙂

3.  We are on a time limit.

With her 5 senses, Sage absorbs and filters up to 200% more information than the average person.  I assume Willow falls somewhere on that spectrum as well.  That’s a lot of stimuli.  If we are in a visually stimulating, academically engaging environment, time is ALWAYS ticking.  Sage can only take in so much before the headaches begin.  She gets overwhelmed.  She gets grouchy.  AND, she shuts down.  Time to go home!

A challenging environment with crowds, loud noises, weird smells, or extreme temperatures causes severe anxiety.  A printed schedule of time limits would REALLY help this momma out.  Unfortunately, I don’t have one.  I try to stay ahead of the meltdowns and some days, I successfully read her signals.  Other days, I fall victim to the chaos and suffer the consequences right along with Sage.

4.  We are lonely.

My girls do not receive many birthday party invites.  There are no playdates.  No sleepovers.  No phone calls from friends.  Thankfully, they have yet to verbalize or notice the lack of inclusion, but my mommy-sense is preparing for the inevitable.

At this moment in time, Sage and Willow PREFER to play with each other.  I think they feel more at ease and can be themselves without feeling odd or weird or different.

I am lonely, too.  There are very few people I can honestly talk to without sounding boastful.  Negative judgements, strong opinions and criticisms come next.  Everyone gets a fraction, a small segment of the truth.  And, my social calendar belongs to my children.  Their needs come first.  Money spent on pedicures, Target trips and lunches with my friends is now channeled into piano lessons, science classes, Tae Kwon Do, sign language and books from Amazon.

5.  School and academics are NOT always easy.

It is an assumption (an incorrect one) that gifted children need very little to be successful in school.  Though my 7-year-old has powered through four years of math in 6 months and can spell words like “Renaissance” and “marsupial”, she can’t remember to capitalize the first letter of a sentence and she always misspells the word “they”.  (T-H-A-Y.  It drives me nuts.)

My 8-year-old won the school spelling bee and reads on a 7th grade level, but failed the district reading benchmark test because her concrete mind can not process inferences or assumptions.  She DOES NOT understand sarcasm, joking or teasing.  She is a black and white thinker.  Right or wrong.  When it comes to reading comprehension, if the answer is not stated in the reading passage, she is utterly LOST.

This brings me to the evil lurking behind a profoundly gifted label:  It is called Asynchronous Development.  And, I HATE it.

Asynchrony is the state of not being synchronized.  (Who came up with THAT definition?)

Essentially, it presents itself as uneven development in gifted kids.  This is my Sage:  5th-6th grade math and some geometry, 4th-5th grade reading level, high school science, off-the-charts critical thinking AND 1st grade spelling.  (Hence, the need to homeschool.)  We constantly remind ourselves (and others) that just because she is advanced academically, it DOES NOT mean she is years ahead socially or emotionally…and certainly not physically.

Asynchrony is confusing and frustrating and challenging.  Both girls suffer and excel at the hands of their asynchronous development.  It makes traditional schooling and most learning situations very difficult.


If given the opportunity, especially if presented on a particularly challenging day, I would probably change all of this…if I could. IF I could pick and choose WHICH aspects stayed and which ones disappeared, I would jump at the chance to lessen the burden for my daughters.  YES I WOULD–in a heartbeat!

BUT, the overexcitabilities and asynchronous development are part of a package deal.  They all go hand-in-hand with the profoundly gifted diagnosis.  I don’t get to pick and choose…and neither do my girls.  It is part of who they are and my job is to teach them how to manage and cope with ALL aspects of their abilities.  We choose to embrace the positive AND the negative, for without one there is NO balance or appreciation for the other.

It IS what makes them extraordinary.

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How did I get here? Part 2

I am super sorry for leaving you hanging with my last blog entry.  If you didn’t read it, please go back and read it first because this one probably won’t make sense if you start here.  Of course, I’m ASSuming all of this makes sense to people on the outside…and we ALL know by now what happens when we ASSume…

Apparently, I am the QUEEN of assuming.  Does that make me a “Queen Ass” or the “Queen of Asses”?  Something to ponder.

On to my story…

I will admit, I ASSumed Sage would have a challenging year in kindergarten.  I worried about her outbursts and her overwhelming fears and her crippling frustrations.  People on the outside ASSume these behaviors are coming from a place of disrespect, poor parenting, a refusal to complete a task and total disobedience.  Heck, even I thought that at first.  So, like I said in the last post, I wrote a two page letter to the school, hoping to explain my Sage to the outside world.

Thank goodness they read it.

Kindergarten was delightful for Sage.  She made a few, select friends.  She LOVED her teacher and she even earned Citizen of the Month!  But, when I visited the classroom, I started to notice a few things.  The students’ work displayed on the wall all looked the same…except for Sage’s.  Her drawings, handwriting, worksheets, etc. looked like a 3rd grader’s work.  It was oddly noticeable…when I stood in the hall, looking at a display…out popped Sage’s work…and not just to MY mommy eyes because I’m all biased and fixated on my kid.

Everyone noticed.

It almost made me uncomfortable.  I paid attention to how the other children spoke, how they interacted with one another and how they played during center time.  There was a VERY obvious difference between the other kindergarten children and my Sage.  Our psychologist refused to diagnose Sage with any label before the end of that school year.  What a smart and insightful doctor…I am so thankful for her hesitation…

Because…Sage’s kindergarten teacher saw something in Sage that I was too close to see.  (And she recommended Sage for GT testing.)

Bogged down with concerns and worries, sleep deprivation and life-controlling melt downs, I saw nothing but the challenges…I was DROWNING in the challenges.  I owned a binder FULL of notes, medical reports and evaluations that focused on what was “wrong” with Sage.  My entire goal at this point in the journey was to find out WHY she was acting like an out-of-control banshee.  I knew once I had an answer, I could find a solution…a way to help Sage function and deal and adjust and live a happy life.

A particular moment in time burned a permanent memory into my mommy brain:  After one of her more severe break downs, I was rocking her back and forth in her bedroom.  She leaned out of my arms, looked right at me, and through her tears, asked in the most serious voice, “What is wrong with me?”  I can barely relive the thought without crying myself.  It broke my heart.  I immediately told her, “I don’t know.  But I promise that we will find out and I will help you get better.”  I meant it.

In the spring of 2012, paperwork from the elementary school came home explaining that the kindergarten teacher recommended Sage for testing and her scores qualified for the Gifted and Talented program.  Ok.  Honestly, my husband and I didn’t think much about it.  My brilliant son didn’t “qualify” for the program until the end of 5th grade so the testing process never really impressed me.  I put Sage’s “acceptance letter” on my nightstand and barely thought about it.  A few days later, my husband called from work asking about the scores.  Particularly, he wanted to know WHAT tests were administered.

I am about to tell you how an ordinary mom’s life changed.

Right here.

Get ready.

The letter was SO important to me that I had to dig the paperwork out of a stack of other non-sense.  (EMBARRASSING to admit that!)  My husband and I sat in bed that night and Googled the name of the first test.  It was an IQ test.  We didn’t even know that.  Sage’s score was above the school’s admitting score.  Ok.  We didn’t even think much of that…

Until we Googled HER score.

We both sat there in disbelief.

When I typed in her IQ score, thousands of sites came up…and almost all of the information described our daughter.  Could this REALLY be what was causing all of Sage’s challenges?!?  I was a teacher in my previous life and I NEVER heard of this before!  I didn’t believe anything.

I was in complete denial.

So, what did I do?

I called the school and made an appointment with the GT specialist.

I honestly thought she would tell me the version of the IQ test given by the school wasn’t the same one I found on Google.  I thought she would tell me it was a mistake, or that she got the numbers mixed up.  I thought she would tell me it was no big deal.

But, she didn’t.

She told me kids like Sage don’t go to public school and she handed me the contact information for a support group for families with profoundly gifted children.  She also suggested I find a professional psychologist to administer a different, full-scale IQ test.

In a daze, I got in my car…wondering what the hell just happened?!?!

Within a few weeks, I found myself in a different psychologist’s office. (Not our regular one, but a doctor with experience testing gifted children)  I sat, waiting for Sage to be given a full-blown IQ test with all subtests.  We scheduled two testing days and blocked off about three hours for each day.  6 hours of testing.  It cost a small fortune.  Just after two hours on day ONE of testing, the doctor came to the waiting room and said she needed to talk to me in her office.

Sage was done testing.

At first, I ASSumed Sage would go no further…maybe she was tired or stressed or overworked.  As I followed the doctor down the hall, I felt the familiar “embarrassment-over-my daughter’s-behavior” red face, cold sweat response start to creep up  and cover my body.  I sat in a large, over-sized, comfy chair and faced the doctor to hear about Sage’s refusal to complete the test.

The doctor said, “Sage is a delightful, little girl.”  And, I just sat there…terrifed that the next sentence would start with the word “But…”.

BUT…that word never came.  Sage had completed the test.  In two hours.  There was no need for a second day of testing.  The doctor asked me to give her a few minutes so she could do some preliminary calculating.  I sat there, still in complete denial.  Sage MUST have rushed through that test.

And then the psychologist looked up from her paperwork and said a number.  Sage’s IQ number.  My face was frozen.  The doctor told me that the test ceiling was 150.  (That is GREATLY important, as different IQ tests have different test ceilings, but I didn’t know that at this point in my journey.)

I did NOT feel ready to hear what she was saying.  I didn’t even really KNOW what she was saying.

My first thought was, “CRAP!  My husband should be here to hear this!”

THE day I received a diagnosis for what was “wrong” with our daughter…my husband should have been there.  (But, it was just the first day of testing!  Who knew?!?  Ugh!)

EVERY score on EVERY subtest fell between the 98th-99.9th percentiles.  That means Sage’s cognitive functions are in the very superior domain.  Her full-scale IQ is in the 99.9 percentile.  Sage is profoundly gifted.  Do you have other children?  They should be tested too.”

As I sunk into that comfy chair in the psychologist’s office, all of the information sounded like a college-level symposium.  The doctor told me about several schooling options, as well as a private school for the highly gifted in Houston.  I made an appointment to come back and hear the full report…and bring my husband.  The life-changing meeting would be on my 39th birthday.

When we left the office, Sage appeared more relaxed than normal.  I called my husband before I even started the car.  He didn’t answer.  (Does that ALWAYS happen to you too or is it just me??)  Then I realized I didn’t even write down her IQ score…or the subtest scores…or the name of the school in Houston.  UGH!  My mind was swirling.  What was wrong with me?!?

By May of 2012, we spent another small fortune to have our other daughter tested as well.  Her scores and subtests fell between the 84th and >99.9th percentiles.  Her full-scale IQ is also in the profoundly gifted range.

Our girls are only 4 points apart, but their subtest scores are quite telling about the way their minds work and how they are wired differently.  Sage’s scores label her “globally gifted”.  Willow, on the other hand, has a slower processing speed but scored off the chart, surpassing the test ceiling, in perceptual reasoning.  It explains A LOT.

So…this is how my ordinary life turned upside down.

And, once again…I feel like this blog entry is entirely too long!  Ha!

Enjoy your Sunday.  I’ll write more when life allows.

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