31 Days of Quotes {day 8}: Genius is not learned


genius | paper doll tales

This past weekend, Big Friend and I took the girls back to our college for a post-Homecoming visit.  We managed to take not a single picture of the event.  You’ll have to imagine lovely fall leaves, blown grey skies, scarves, boots and red noses.  The pictures would have been glorious.  We did manage to work ourselves up into a lather of nostalgia and left feeling like we were quite ready to squeeze ourselves back into the package of our 20-year-old selves and mail ourselves home to a dorm room.

We’d have done it.  Gone back to school lickety-split.  If it hadn’t been for the small head swiveling around in the baby backpack or the small hand that gripped mine as we walked down quiet dorm halls–look at all the posters on the doors!  ooooo!  look, there’s my first room! oooooooo!  look, there’s a bathroom with toilets and showers! ooooooooooooo!

“I do not remember this Mama.  This was before I was born, wasn’t it?”

I love learning.  It’s bound to be a lifelong passion for me.  When you’re a learner, then a teacher, then a mother of small children, it’s surprisingly easy to fall into an “earn the A” trap.  For a paper, for a job review, for learning the alphabet ahead of your preschool cohorts.  I love Patricia Polacco’s words that remind me that genius is different from intelligence.

You can be a genius for loving college without ever having slept a night in a dorm {knowing without experience}.

You can be a genius for attempting a headstand without wavering with worry over breaking your neck {risking without fear of failure}.

You can be a genius for being terrified of spiders {perception without touch}.

You can be a genius for hearing in a loved one’s voice that she’s stressed, had a bad day, needs a hug {understanding without research}.

You can be a genius for your belief that the monster in your closet is nice and therefore not worrisome at bedtime {certainty without proof}.

You can be a genius for rolling over for the first time {ability without practice}.

You can be a genius for squeaking like a baby rabbit for a. whole. day. or carrying on a serious conversation with a five-month-old mouth {invention without limitations}.

You can be a genius for drawing stick figures without arms and withstanding any parental pressure to add just two more sticks for a “complete” picture {creativity without constraints}.

You have extraordinary intelligence.  Today, bask in your inner genius.

That said, [insert unsnapped photo of quintessential college campus in autumnal glory], I’ll still take my genius self back to college any day.

Patricia Polacco‘s children’s books are some of our favorites, and Little Friend would urge you to read Thunder Cake first.  It’s captivated her attention since she was two.

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  1. Jo said:

    Hooray for the genius in all of us–may we never squelch it, lose it, abuse it, ignore it. God’s playground.

    October 8, 2012

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