Gifted Child

I came up to our preschool classroom
with my guitar, just in time
to do Circle. The children
were filing out the door
to line up and greet one of the teachers.
All except for Ryan. I found him
in the block corner, where he'd taken
all the blocks off the shelves,
all the plastic animals from the cabinet,
all the little metal cars and fire engines,
and made a giant Highway, a great circle,
a Mandala, for you Jungians,

and he sat in the middle of it, self-satisfied on his knees,
and it appeared to me he'd harnessed
all the primitive power of the jungle
and all the power of the machine age
and had them lined up to do his bidding
along the circular Highway of Life,
which he could reach any point of
from his place in the center.

And I told him to 'clean it up'.
Shame, shame
(but there wasn't time!)
and as he usually does,
he squealed, 'Noooo! '
(and I didn't have my camera, either!)
which really is a problem,
his thinking he's always right,
(I thought about leaving the whole
magic thing up, but the other kids
would never have come to Circle) .

A couple weeks ago,
I had a dream of Ryan,
draining all his family's energy
and attention with his need
so there was none left for his sister,

and all he wanted in the dream
was to go to Berkeley, to a park,
and join an acting/tai-chi class there,

and in the dream I took him
and then he was fine,
immediately got immersed in the class.

'Gifted' children can be so difficult,
I used to be one,
and I hope I can make it up to Ryan
(without giving carte-blanche
to the little tyrant in him)
and start validating his gifts
in a more empowering way
than mine were.

by Max Reif

Comments (2)

Gifted children often go astray because of neglect. It's good to see that you not only recognize the gift, but encourage the full potential of this child. There are so many that don't receive the attention they crave because they're 'difficult' and 'high maintanance' children. So much depends on the proper guidance and channeling of such brilliance. Linda
Max, this really tugged at my heartsrings - along with giving me a few good giggles on the way. My teachers used to tell me to 'go take a nap' if I was finished before the other kids! All that energy in one kid can be a very dangerous thing if someone doesn't help them utilise it. Hugs Anna xxx