There’s a great ironic span of realizations that accompany having a profoundly gifted child- not the least of which is a shrinkage in your circle of trust. Just as you learn about your child’s gifts and incredible abilities, just as you begin to notice that the opportunities for them in this life may be boundless, just as you want to shout from the top floor of the preschool that dismissed your concerns about education- that’s when you learn that very few people actually want to listen, and what’s more jarring, that most people just want you to be silent.
As I am a stubborn person by nature, this irony took years to fully coalesce into a coherent thought. But after repeated episodes of learning that a) no one wanted to hear about my child’s unique experiences and b) more often than not people were skeptical and jealous, I have finally arrived at the hypothesis of the shrinking circle of trust –
the greater the extreme of giftedness > smaller the circle of trust
By this formula, a parent with a moderately gifted child may have a circle of around 30 people to share information and experiences with. I’m working on one hand…people I can count on, on one hand.
So what does this do for awareness for the profoundly gifted? Well, in many ways it has a highly negative impact. We continue to hide ourselves and children because we can’t (or don’t) talk to others outside of the community and share our experiences in a trusted way. We keep ourselves relegated to tightening the circle, which pretty much ensures that the rest of society will fail to understand our children and their uniqueness, let alone understand what its like to raise a PG child.
I have struggled under the forced choice between the comfort of the circle and the social consciousness and weight of responsibility of speaking out. This is obviously a choice we all grapple with at some point. Knowing that I am far from gifted at following authority and social norms, I sense that this blog is the inception of an evolution from the cradle of the circle to the criticism of the crowd.
…And I will be okay with that, because I know I’ll always have that seminal circle of trust that we all need to rely on, to retreat to now and then, and to grow from.