Show off those talents. Share a story, a special moment, a piece of artwork. Any accomplishment, great or small, is fair game.
I don't have especially talented kids. They seem to excel at things like tattling, and procrastinating and arguing-- you get the picture. That is when their talents really shine. But none of mine are Einsteins or superstars in sports or dance or music, though once upon a time I thought that life would be that way. That we would be parents that lived on a ballfield because one or more of our sons was a sports hero. I imagined that, with my husband's musical talent and my love of music, at least one of them would be a virtuoso. And, considering that neither my husband nor I were dummies in school, I thought our combined gene pool would produce at least one academic prodigy.
But no. We produced some pretty normal kids.
We got involved in theater when our son became interested when he was about seven. Seeing as how he had no interest in sports, we figured theater would be a good activity for him and put him in lessons and then plays. He paved the way for the rest of our kids, which led to us serving on the board, which led to a whole family that serves and occasionally acts and just generally has a good time. Not a one of ours has had a lead, and that's okay. I hung my stage mom hat up a long time ago and just let it be all about the exposure and the experience.
Our kids also swim on our neighborhood swim team. That is starting up pretty soon so you will hear more about that I am sure. It's a great community builder, that swim team. We enjoy cutting up with the other parents and gathering as a community to cheer our team on at meets. Oh, and playing a wonderful game I like to call, "Keep the toddler out of the pool." Good times. And sometimes my kids get a blue ribbon-- but usually because they were on a winning relay team and hardly ever (never?) because they placed first all on their own. But they do place from time to time and we chalk it up to exposure and experience and great family memories. And we hang those ribbons proudly in their rooms and admit that their favorite part of swimming isn't getting the fastest times but scarfing down late-night fast food with their teammates back at our clubhouse while the ribbons are awarded.
Why am I saying all this? Because I want to bash my kids? No. Because I don't recognize that they each bring something unique to the world that is just their own? No. It's just that sometimes those unique qualities aren't tied to measurable things-- at least not things the world puts a value on.
Mostly, I just want to be honest. To tell all the other parents of average kids out there that it's okay to have kids who are average. I think that there are times for bragging on your kids and being proud of them, but there is also a time to be honest. To not feel compelled to make our kids out to be more than they are capable of living up to. To take the pressure off them and off ourselves. To say, we are ordinary people blessed with the opportunity to live extraordinary lives. Not because of the accolades or accomplishments we collect, but because of the people we encountered and the memories we made. Because when you get right down to it, that is more than enough.