Thursday, September 1, 2011

The One Where I Feel Inadequate

I'm in no way trying to sound conceited here, but I'm no dummy. I know pride is a sin, but brains are the gift that God gave me and I had always secretly worn my IQ points like a badge of honor. When I was growing up it was the main thing that was always praised and encouraged by the adults around me- besides my innate ability to be submissive and "good". (But that's besides the point) 

You see, my intelligence had always been the source of what little bit of self-esteem I had growing up. Without my brains, I would have had very little going for me, because I didn't have any of the special talents that I envied so much in lot of other people. I've never been good at sports, being popular, crafts, music, singing or anything else that I considered to be a talent.  Just being good and being smart- those were my talents growing up. That was me- the Good, Smart Girl!

Once I became an adult and got out in the real world, I began to realize that brains aren't everything, and I discovered some of my other talents and abilities. I also came to have a relationship with God and learned about the qualities that He finds important. So now, taking pride in my intelligence is no longer as important to me.

BUT having said all of that- sometimes my child makes me feel absolutely dumb in comparison to him. I mean, I've been in groups of my peers when I was younger or around other adults later on where I've known they were smarter than me, but raising a child that can comprehend things on a level above my head is just something that is totally different than anything I've ever experienced.

After all, if I was told I was really smart- then he must be really really smart.

I've known for a long time that he's smarter than me, but now that we are Home Educating, it is sometimes frightening to think that I am the one responsible for his education now. Half of the time I feel like he is the one teaching me.

This week he has been interested in the planets- especially the moons. He wanted to look up information about the moons last night to make a poster, but it was late and waay past his internet curfew. (Did I mention it was late?) So while he was watching Deadliest Warrior, I was looking through a Time Life book about Space and The Planets that was in a box of books that were donated to us to see if there was anything about the moons in there for him to use.

I came across a page titled "How Do We Know the Earth Rotates?" It explained how in 1851, French Physicist Foucault came up with a way to prove that the Earth rotates.

(I may have learned this in school way back when, but have since forgotten about it.)

Basically, Foucault hung a 62 pound iron ball from a 220-foot-high ceiling over a pan of sand. When he swung the pendulum each hour the pendulum made a line in a different part of the sand. The marks in the sand proved the Earth was rotating.

Well, I guess its because I'm a visual person, I just couldn't wrap my brain around how that would work, because the pendulum is still attached to the building. I would have to see it to understand it. So I shared what I had read with Padawan, and told him that I couldn't imagine how that would work. Of course, he totally "got it" immediately, and tried to explain it to me with no luck. Again today, I was swinging an object in my hand trying to visualize how that would work. When he saw me doing that, he realized what I was doing and he said,"Give it up, Mom, I've already tried to explain it to you twice."

Its times like these that make me wonder if my smartness was all just an illusion.

And it leaves me feeling inadequate to do what God has called me to do....


  1. First off, I'm pretty prideful of my IQ too. I know it's a failing, but like you, it was the single source of my self-esteem for so very long that I just can't seem to let go.

    On not understanding Foucault's experiment when Padawan does: "smart" isn't the same as omniscient. We all have our own areas that we grasp better than others. Obviously this isn't one of yours but I bet there are plenty of things that you get that I don't (and I'm a Mensa dropout ;-) It doesn't negate my understanding of things for you to understand something better or faster. So buck up and be proud of that son who is demonstrating a unique gift.

  2. Thanks for the pep talk! MENSA! I should have known. LOL...You're one of the people I quickly recognized as having a higher badge number than me. :P

    I AM proud of him. I would love to be able to have a Q&A session with Einstein's or Robert Fulton's Mom or any of those other people who thought like he does. I wonder how they felt...

  3. LOL Mensa's not that impressive - hence my dropping out.

    I know what you mean about wondering about how those moms must have felt. I've often wondered about Stephen Hawking's mother, too.

  4. Once again, I really relate to you two. I too have been prideful about my intelligence.

    Homeschooling has taught me that so much of my school success was because I knew how to play "the game". And adulthood has come with the knowledge that trivia (the facts we are drilled with in school) doesn't translate to real life knowledge. My 11yo son knows much more than I do about history and science.

    But Jen, if you are called to do this, God will equip you to follow your calling. And if Padawan reads, he can teach himself a lot of things! Besides, there are other teachers. No one says a homeschool mom has to be the one and only teacher. There are co-op classes, online classes, apprencticeships, science camps.


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