Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pride and Prejudice

This isn't about the classic novel. It's about AJ reading 1,000 books. You see the connection right away, too, right?

When AJ's teacher sent a message to all the parents in his class that AJ was the first student to read 1,000 books this year, I was so proud of him. I immediately began sharing the picture to Facebook with a caption about how proud I was that AJ was the first child to read 1,000 books this year.

I'm hoping AJ learns to actually read sooner than later, so he can help Teddy read to 1,00 books.

And then I stopped short. Because I realized Teddy will not be the first child to read 1,000 books in his 4K class. I realized that if Teddy ever learns to read, even a few sight words, we'll be so much more proud of him than we'll ever be of AJ for reaching this 1,000-book milestone. I realized that the lessons we've learned with Teddy about it being fine to reach milestones on his terms should apply to AJ.

But it's hard.

I'm still incredibly proud of AJ and happy to see how proud he is of himself. He has two parents who were academic overachievers and still are overachievers. We were never content with any grades less than As. We even discussed before having children how we thought it would be a challenge for us if we had children who weren't academically gifted because we wouldn't understand what that was like ... or if we had children who didn't apply themselves academically.

And then we had Teddy, who really creates his own category. That probably puts even more pressure on AJ, not that we would ever intentionally voice it to AJ. He carries the brunt of so many hopes and dreams that we had for our children before they were born. We want the best for both our children, but the reality of our world is that the best looks different for each of our sons.

Then again, the best looks different for each person in this world. My best is not your best. AJ's best is not Teddy's best. And that's OK.

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