My son’s gifts are quantifiable. I can tick them off on my fingers. I often speak of them to others, as in, today my son mastered this …. skill. It’s easy to see that he is a bright little boy. As mothers, I’m sure you can relate to this, I love bragging about him. It is easy to know when someone is good at mathematics, reading, science, music.
So then, there is my sweet little girl. After listing all my son’s latest accomplishments I struggle to find something equally impressive to say about her. Now, don’t get me wrong. My daughter has myriad wonderful qualities. She is often the one people first compliment. She is pretty and charming and so extremely lovable that it’s difficult to resist cuddling her upon first encounter. Every morning she comes into my room bright eyed and smiling like sunshine and even in my sleepiest state I can’t help smiling back at her. People love her and she gives back their love.
However, these are somewhat intangible and definitely whimsical gifts. They are lovely but I feel silly describing my mathematically gifted son and then in the same conversation expounding on the ability my daughter has to enchant an audience, her sweet essence, her charisma and aplomb.
I don’t believe these are any less gifts, though. Because what my daughter really has is a maturity that transcends her size and age. At four years old, she can walk into a room, assess her environment and find her place. She is fearless in social situations. Relationships come easily to her. She is not afraid to walk up, ask to be your friend and then dance. Yet, she is also not intimidated by questions or tasks placed in front of her. When asked to do something she attacks the project. She does not know that there are things she cannot attempt.
And she is small, smaller than most of the other kids around her at any given time. I worry that she will falter in their presence, get lost. But she never does. She stands tall, raises her head and is known. After all, her big brother has always been around to show her that there is fun to be had trying new things. And let’s not forget, he’s a pretty bright kid.