I've forgotten how to talk about my children

I've been wondering for the last couple of weeks, why my blogging inspiration seems to be at an all time low. I have wanted to blog, we're back from our Woodford Christmas and the neighbourhood is full of kids on holidays willing to play entertainment committee for my kids on holidays, so I've had time to blog... And it's not like with 5 kids and a gazillion animals and a bunch of visiting circus freaks I've got nothing to blog.
But the blog archive does not lie. One post for December. One post for January. And really, not much to be inspired by before that.

While pondering my lack of bloggy-ness, I received a text message from an old friend. We bantered back and forth for a few messages, than she sent this: "And what about those kewl kids, have they written their first best seller yet?"
I began to reply, "No best seller but Miss V is editor of a weekly "goodnewsletter" for our town's local paper!"

Then I deleted it.

Because you can't say stuff like that to other parents about your 3 year old, can you? Certainly not without a) sounding like you're bragging, b) discouraging the other person from telling you anything about their kids in the future or c) developing a reputation for being a smart arse that people don't want to talk to any more.

If not all three.

I think that's when I realised that I've forgotten how to talk about my children. Not just on this blog, but in general. When people ask how they're doing I make wide sweeping comments like, "Oh they're good. Miss F and Miss J have been approved for home learning this year and Miss V is looking forward to being the first 3 year old to take over the world."
All true, but not necessarily specific.
A more honest answer would be, "Well, Miss J and Miss F's home learning application was knocked back because the curriculum we outlined was too far ahead and would make them too smart - but we dumbed it down a bit and now we're good to go. And Miss V broke her own record for solving a rubicks cube last week - she's now down to 5 hours 20 minutes."

But you can't say stuff like that about your kids, can you?

It's not that I'm not bursting with pride. It's not that I don't want to talk about them 24/7. It's not that we're not the same kind of family, with the same kinds of values and beliefs as always.
It's just that my kids got smart. And I stopped talking about them because you just don't do that.

That is probably the most ridiculous reason for not doing something I've EVER admitted to. And I'm not going to conform to it any more.

I'm not going to filter what I say about my children in case other people get offended any more. That is definitely not a value I want for myself or my children.

Yes, Miss F can do back flips on the trampoline. We're circus freaks - so what?
Yes, Miss J can explain, in great detail, why sunflowers follow the movement of the sun from dawn until dusk. She likes sunflowers - so what?
Yes, Miss V can talk to Mr R's physiotherapist about skeletal alignment and hyper extension and muscle flexion and centre of gravity and counter balancing and... stuff. She asks lots of questions - so what?
Yes, my kids can speak fluent Auslan. Their favourite Aunty is Deaf - so what?
Yes, my kids can read facial expressions with an ease and speed belying their ages. We value emotional intelligence - so what?

We are who we are. I never want my children to think they have to be any more or any less for other people. So from now on, I'm going to talk about them with the pride and acknowledgement and respect that they deserve.

It's just what you do. Right?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most.

We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?'

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us.

And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

~Nelson Mandela


katepickle said...

It is who they are. It is who you are. It is who you all are as a family. It's what makes you awesome and inspiring and fun and wonderful...it's what makes me smile and grin when I read it... because it's part of being you.

tiff(threeringcircus) said...


Be loud and proud of your amazing wonderful children because when you 'dumb it down' you are hiding how amazing and wonderful you are too.

Melody said...

Gee, we're all allowed to gloat about our children's efforts so why not gloat? Besides, it is your blog so go for your life!!

Brenda said...

Very well said Al.

Your kids are smart and if the other parents can't deal with it then it's their issue not yours!

MissyBoo said...

Absolutely agree with everyone. Your kids are amazingly kewl, and they possess gifts and talents that you should gloat about. If people don't want to hear how amazing they are, then they shouldn't ask!

Looking forward to hearing all about the futures ahead for those wonderful kewl girls!

Debby said...

People were offended? Oh. How offensive is that?

Really, just tell your story. It is the way of bloggers everywhere. Tell your story as you see it, Al.

shygirl said...

We want to hear about your kids, and how cool each one is. That is what makes everyone cool,anyway - their differences. Glad you are ignoring anyone who thinks differently!