Today I heard another mama telling me about how her child can spell her own name. I hear it a lot: a 24-month-old who can count to 25, a three-year-old who reads books. I'm happy for them, I really am. But I also wonder why my kids aren't geniuses? Every time I hear another "smart kid" story, I feel a twinge that is something between envy and guilt. I'm a pretty smart cookie, if I do say so myself. so it must not be inferior genes. Am I not spending enough time reading to them? Too much TV? Maybe I ate too many french fries while I was pregnant.
I'm not sure that I would want my child to be a genius anyway. I don't think that genius = fulfilled in any way. It certainly can cause problems -- I was pretty smart as a kid and fought the stigma of being "the smart kid" all through school. I'd rather be happy than smart, If I had to choose.
I am successful at not envying others' possessions. I don't envy supermodels' bodies. But I am thrown into a funk every time I hear that someone else's kid is ahead of her age. I love my children. I think they are just the sweetest, most fun kids on the block. Nora is beautiful, and can boogie to music like no one else. Nigel has a smile that will absolutely light up a room. So why on earth am I comparing them to others? Please, if you notice me comparing my child to anyone else, feel free to bonk me on the head.