Today is the day before my birthday (birthday eve?) and I'm about to go complete assorted tests for a possible job. They've promised me a basic math, reading and writing test, with a personality test and something very similar to a wonderlic test. Is it strange that I'm looking forward to this? It actually sounds fun (with the exception of the math part).
This may sound a little odd. It's not that I like taking tests, necessarily. My nerves make themselves known on a regular basis. It's not even that I'm particularly good at all tests. I like doing well, don't get me wrong, that's just not the motivating part of this. I really like going over the results.
It's energizing for me to understand how my brain works (or doesn't work) on a given day. Minds are fascinating. Other minds are equally fascinating, its just that most folks have no reason to share the inner workings of their brains with me. All these different tests have their limitations and the possibility for error, but over time and after lots of tests, there are certain patterns that tend to remain constant.
The ways that my children's minds work are very interesting to me. The lines their thoughts travel in are so different than "typical", but if you pay attention, they make sense. It's often that they've taken something said in passing extremely literally, but it does make sense. My daughter is very direct and straightforward in her thoughts and feelings. This can be an issue when she's frustrated, but overall, this is very helpful in understanding her. She's very like her father in her directness. My son often keeps more of his meaningful thoughts to himself, and you have to dig a bit to see why something is bothering him. If I'm honest, I have to admit that this is a way he's similar to me.
At Threads (our church), we've been reading through Phillipians. The discussion that followed mentioned how our children can talk about parts of themselves that they got from their parents. "See how I made that joke? I got my humor from you." It can be so cool to recognize bits of yourself in your children. You can also recognize how they're internalizing being upset, squashing their feelings,... and recognize that they got that from you, too. I can't help but wonder how much easier life would be for my son, with all his difficulties, if he weren't like me.
I have to trust that God's got a plan in this, though. Both children have grown in their own functionality by leaps and bounds. There is no way of knowing what they'll be capable of by the time they're adults. They both really like to think, and are good at it. They both have minds that are very captivating, cool places to live in. Our job as parents seems to be to remind them that the rest of the world is interesting, too. Sharing the thoughts that dwell in their heads is part of what makes this world more colorful.
Time to get ready for my test.
1 year ago