My Son's Gift

In my parenting e-group, I always get to read mails from parents who brag about their children's achievements. I find it amusing because I've been there. I don't think there is a devoted mommy or daddy out there that never had a bragging time about their babies. Of course, our babies are the apple of our eyes.

Some of the emails I get to read inquire about how one parent gets to confirm his/her baby's giftedness. Being an educator, I stand by the premises that all children are gifted and intelligent and giftedness and intelligence are not equated with academic excellence. A child may not excel in academic grades but may be good in the arts.

I have had students who are special and you can't expect them to reap medals come recognition day. But one's a good singer, the other one a comic book artist. Now, I have a student who's failing in every subject. At fifteen years old, she's still in Grade 5. She can't read well and is very much "bulol". But when a car passes by our classroom's window, she can identify the car's make, model, and color. Sometimes, she even tells me how much the mags cost. Don't tell me this is not a gift.

It's a fact to people who are close to us that my son started to read before he turned three years old. It's also a fact that I homeschooled him at age two. Rap is a gifted child, even other people told us this. They even advised me to let him undergo a test for giftedness at MENSA. Up to now, we haven't had the time to do so. And besides, my husband and I decided that we won't let him be accelerated to a higher grade. He's true age is evident when you scrutinize his penmanship and coloring. He still needs more training in that area.

From my studies, I learned that Rap's intelligence is on the lingiuistic and music side. He's a voracious reader. When we moved here in our new house, his toys were all boxed up. Actually, up to now they are still all boxed up but he doesn't complain. He just asked us occasionally for his Monopoly board game, his telescope kit, and his microscope kit. Not the same story with his books. He has his own mini-library in his room. When he was 3 to 4 years old, his interest was on short story books. We bought him 2 sets of encyclopedia when he turned 5 and his interest shifted into general knowledge and trivia. We added kiddie almanacs and Ripley's Believe It or Not series to his collection. He's also well-informed about our Catholic faith. He has a collection of catechism books. I introduced him recently to Harry Potter and he breezed through books 1 to 3 in a week. He's now reading Book 4, a thick one at 734 pages.

He's musically inclined. I taught him the basics of piano playing when he was 5 years old. We stopped when I started to become busy. He can play simple piano pieces and he can play the notes of popular tunes by oiudo. He sings well, I just feel he needs to be trained to use his voice professionally.

My mother-in-law often calls my son "Lolo Rap" because he's so matured for his age. I remember last election season that he became so interested with politics. He even had his own list of senatoriables. He expressed his own opinion about Philippine politics, too. This opinion came out of the blue and surprised me and Daddy Jun. I remember we were in the car and he told us that he was not in favor of a 12-0 vote. He said he wanted a mixed group of new senators and presented us his favored list. He also laughed about the way the candidates fight and kiss and make up with each other. He said "Parang bata, away bati! Hindi naman sila naglalaro."

He's still my baby. He has gifts but I still make it a point to remember that he is still a child. He still needs a balance of study and play. I hope other parents of gifted children also hold on to the same idea as mine.

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