I remember one day when Alex was about three, she was bouncing up and down in the living room near my desk, saying, "I'm a beautiful wonderful Alex!"
I stopped whatever I was doing, gave her a hug, and said, "Yes, yes you are!" And I thought to myself:
How cool is that - she can say so without a single blip of self-consciousness?
And my next thought was:
I'll enjoy it while it lasts.
Sad, really. Because, no matter how many times anyone else tells her that, or she tells herself that in her head, it's not the same as saying it out loud.
I am significantly more "intelligent" as measured by such things as IQ tests than most people. I learned to read when I was only slightly older than Tori, and have no memory of being UNable to read. When I was eight years old, my mother took classes at the community college where my father worked, and taught me how to do some of the math problems she was doing. I thought it was great! I went to college through the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted when I was not-quite-14, and finished my undergrad degree when I was 19.
For all that, I have a very hard time calling myself intelligent, and am fighting the urge to put disclaimers all over this post. And y'know, it's part of who I am, like being female or fat or queer or a mom or dealing with the gimpy leg and the ADD are parts of who I am.
And as difficult as it is to talk about any of those other things, sometimes, or the frustrations that they cause me on a personal level (it's much easier when I'm ranting about something not-personal)...it's even more difficult to just come right out and say, "Yes, actually, I AM really smart - thank you for noticing!"
It's so much easier to talk about the ways in which I suck than the ways in which I rock. That ain't right, folks.