I missed the blog hop. It happens. Too much going on in my life (can you relate) to keep all those balls in the air. The thing is, the topic is something I would like to talk about. So why not? It won’t be part of the blog hop, but that’s okay. I’m not sure how many people will even see it. I suppose that’s okay too. Really, I’m not writing for an audience.
So the theme of the blog hop was gifted adults. Eventually, Pumpkin and Ducky will be gifted adults. Eventually, they will have gifted children. Why? Well, that’s kind of how it works. And that means… Why yes, one or both of Pumpkin and Ducky’s parents must also be gifted (Take that </Scorpion>). I think in this case it is both.
My hubby and I met online. No, not one of those dating services. We met a couple of years before those things really took off. This was in the days of 14.4 baud modems and telnet service. I used to hop or telnet from one local BBS that I had dialed into to another. I was in Sheridan, WY. He was in Bullhead City, AZ, and the site we used was Annex BBS out of Southern California. He will be the first to admit he was sort of looking. He was on a couple of bulletin board systems, including Eden, which was kind of a progenitor of match.com. In person, he was painfully shy. He wanted to meet someone, but the only way that would happen is if he’d had enough alcohol to forget how shy he was — not ideal parameters for finding a soul mate. He’d even met a couple of girls and tried to have long distance relationships with them. None worked. He joked that he had become the greatest catalyst for helping girls get back together with their exes, because over and over, that’s what happened. By the time I met him, his online handle was “Someoneelse” because — get it — someone else always got the girl.
I was on the BBS for a whole different reason. I was trying to maintain a long distance relationship with a boy who had moved to California to go to school. Long distance calls in those days actually cost money and trying to keep in contact was making me broke. So the BBS was a solution. Not a great one. That relationship was doomed from the beginning. But I was going to make it work, by God. So even though he couldn’t tell me when he’d be on the BBS, I’d sit for hours waiting, hoping he’d show. it was boooooooooooring. One day, when I expressed particular ire about the situation, the boyfriend suggested I play a game on the BBS that he liked called Major Mud. This should have gotten my dander up further. I’m not a gamer. Even if I was a gamer, I already had encountered major lag (a delay in translation on dial up when your modem doesn’t receive information in a timely manner). There was no way I would be good at any game, but I agreed to try, and further agreed to play with him. We could talk while we played and he’d show me the ropes, right? Wrong. If he had imagined us becoming an unstoppable team on this role playing game, he quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen. Although it was a simple game without graphics, the lag was terrible. I had an ancient computer and an outdated modem, and I was dialing in through miles of unpredictable lines. On top of that, I’d never played any role playing games before and I hadn’t yet read The Lord of the Rings. I had basically no idea how to play or even how to create a playable character. Pretty soon, he decided I should practice by myself in the sewers (where mostly just giant rats hung out). Then he left. I lagged out in the game and hit the left and up arrows a bunch of times in my impatience. When my computer caught up, my character was in the church (where you go when you die) and naked because the way the game is done, you lose everything you have wherever you die, including armor and weapons, any money, etc. I eventually put out a distress call and the person who came to my rescue is now my husband. I like to joke that he was my knight in digital armor. I must have driven him batty on that first meeting because I’d had no idea where I’d been when I died or what killed me. As I tried to describe, he ended up dragging me everywhere, half the time lagged out. And when he finally found my stuff, it was in the lair of the one badass that lived in the sewers of the game. At that point, he discovered that one of the armaments the boyfriend had given me was something that had been stolen from one of Hubby’s stashes. Talk about uncomfortable. I’m not sure how we ended up staying friends, but we did.
I always think we fell in love with the best of each other. We didn’t know what the other looked like. We didn’t see the airs that people put on when they go on a date. At his core, Hubby is someone who would help a stranger because he could, even though it was frustrating when the stranger couldn’t provide all the necessary information. Even when he discovered a betrayal, he forgave me. He also got my oddball jokes and weird sci-fi references. He recommended books and I read them. We chatted and played together a lot. When I encountered someone spreading lies about him, I defended him. Several months and a terrible break up later, he and I revised our relationship. We’ve been together ever since.
For all of this background, you can imagine that what drew us together was less chemistry than intellectual. Years later, when we saw a psychologist about the difficulties we were having with our son Pumpkin in school, the man called us a genetically loaded couple. Even then, I don’t think we fully understood what that meant. But today it’s pretty clear. One highly gifted kid and one profoundly gifted kid later, we are still that pair that comes to the party and wins all the trivia games. We both get into politics debates and end up providing thirty links for where we got the information we based our opinions on. We don’t buy anything without research. We have conversations where people accuse of using words that aren’t actually words because they’re too big. Friends call us when they don’t understand things. We are THAT couple.
If we had met in person in high school, we probably wouldn’t have noticed one another. Hubby, who is brilliant at math, otherwise did not do very well in school. He hated it. He did like athletics. Running from bullies in grades three and four had made him exceptionally fast. He sees physics in a way that I don’t get at all. He got into punk music, but not necessarily the scene. He graduated from college with a double major that did him no good in the real world. As for me, I was more of the typical nerd. I was great at school. So great, that my tiny school made me the teachers’ aide beginning in kindergarten. I had an amazing memory that meant I could read something once and remember, and even better, remember everything I heard perfectly. I played the piano, then the french horn, then clarinet, then saxophone, and so on until I’d amassed knowledge of seventeen instruments. I never noticed my clothes until eighth grade. I was pathologically uncoordinated and could trip on my own feet when I walked. I suffered from seizures and left college because I couldn’t get them under control. My husband and I are not the same sort of gifted at all. Yet, we were still unprepared for Pumpkin and Ducky.
Just because you’re a gifted adult doesn’t mean you automatically understand your gifted kids or know what to do for them, particularly when their gifts are even more extreme than your own. And when you’re sensitive, a child screaming rather than communicating creates a problem all its own — namely mom and dad covering their ears and freaking out.