My daughter at kindergarten

My daughter at kindergarten

Today, I’m going to brag.  That’s right.  I’m going to tell you all the ways that my kid is smarter than your kid.

Gasp.  “Oh, no, you aren’t.”

Oh, yes, I am.

As we were brushing our teeth this morning, my daughter said “Mommy, the kids in room 18 need extra help because they aren’t as smart as us.”

And then, I spent the morning thinking about what the word “smart” means.  I even looked it up in the dictionary, which told me that smart is “having or showing quick intelligence or ready mental capability”.

And thinking about that definition left me wanting to shout about how smart my kid is.

By the age of two..

My kid understood two languages.

My kid spoke one language more fluently than I did, and was quickly learning the second.

My kid had an uncanny ability to recognize the face of someone we had only met once before (while I, embarrassingly, faltered).

My kid understood, and practiced, empathy at a level that I have rarely seen in other children or adults.

My kid had an ability to make animals at ease in a way that I, as a college-educated animal biologist, had never seen.

My kid understood the danger of fire, and tried to blow out every flame and hot object in every room we entered.

My kid knew how to share, and saw its joy.

My kid readily engaged with a new teachers for over a half-hour without my intervention.

My kid could use actual words to ask for almost everything needed throughout the day, from shoes in the morning to a book before bedtime.

My kid easily adapted to the ways of life in three different countries.

My kid knew how to operate a tricycle, go on a bike ride, build a sandcastle, jump on a trampoline, and safely ride in a kayak.

My kid had the ability to make even the grumpiest of plane passengers, shoppers, workers, and everyone else we met smile their biggest smile.

And perhaps most importantly, My kid easily functioned in, and welcomed, a world full of people who were nothing like him.

The kid that I’m writing about wouldn’t have been the one in the photo above.  He wouldn’t have been in the advanced class with his sister, or the one who rode a bike or tackled the monkey bars earlier than all the others.

My kid may have been the kid in room 18, and my kid would have been smart.

Returning back to the morning of brushing teeth.  We sacrificed being on time for school to have a conversation about what “smart” really means.  We explained that being “smart” had little to do with just learning to read, or do multiplication, sooner than others.  My fingers were crossed, in hopes that my daughter can unlearn what she learned in kindergarten. In hopes that I can make my daughter a little smarter, without her brother here to teach her this lesson with such ease.

My proud kid

My proud (and smart) kid