I am average. Yet, I am so far removed from being average that it is just not funny. I have been mulling about averageness. About Taylor Swift’s fear of being like any one else. I have been listening to parents telling me about the extra-ordinary giftedness of their offspring and I have been comparing my offspring to theirs, and we have come up short. Both me and the boys. And yet, we have excelled on every level as well.
Because quite frankly – the term ‘average’ is a pot of crock! (Please someone tell me that is not a rude way of saying it is absolute and utter bullshit. Because I can say that as well, if it is politically more correct.)
You get to be average when the ever present ‘they’ take the number expressing the central value in a set of data, which is calculated by dividing the sum of the values in the set by their number. I understand that the staticians and the who’s who of the planners want all this info so that they can put me in a box, and say, “Here you go missus, let’s get you in here.”
It is however the synonyms for the word ‘average’ that is getting me hot under the collar. Listen to this:
mediocre, second-rate, uninspired, undistinguished, ordinary, commonplace,
mainstream, unexceptional, unexciting, unremarkable, unmemorable, indifferent,
humdrum, nothing special, everyday, bland, run-of-the-mill, not very good,
pedestrian, prosaic, lacklustre, forgettable, amateur, amateurish; More acceptable,
passable, all right, adequate, fair, middling, moderate, tolerable;
garden-variety; OK, so-so, bog-standard, fair-to-middling, (plain) vanilla, nothing to
write home about, nothing to get excited about, a dime a dozen, no great shakes,
not so hot, not up to much.
Oh, but wait, as if that is not insulting enough, listen to the two (only two words!)
that are offered as antonyms:
EXCUSE ME! (Please see the absolute divaness of a drag queen with blood red
lips, and fanglike black nailenameld nails, with a hand on the hips, and index finger or would that be the middle finger?)
I read a letter that a teacher wrote to the mother of an average child, saying that she is sorry that she could not get some one on one time with her precious little girl, who from the sound of this letter is anything but average. She is kind and compassionate and took over the role of said teacher when a newbie was introduced to the class and the teacher could not spend time with said newbie. The teacher was elsewhere applied with the kids who required the attention at that moment in time. She was busy sorting out a tantrum, busy helping a crying and anxious child, busy sorting out a little boy on the verge of a break down, and half way through the allotted time slot had to start teaching something as well, and never got to the ‘average’ child.
I felt for this teacher. I so empathised with her. I have issues getting to and meeting each one of my boys’ needs. While master eight year old is busy with his maths, I have to help master four year old with his numbers, which inevitably looks much more exciting to master eight year old, and he then quips in, to help his little bro with nr 4. Imagine having 5 or more kids in your class and having to give attention te each one.
I read once that most attention are given to the more ‘challenging’ children, the achievers do not get the attention, because they ‘get’ the schoolwork. The average children do not get the attention because they do not cause issues. And so the children regress.. is that true? But I am not taking the chance.
You see, though my kids may be average to ‘them’ they sure as hell are not average to me! Would ‘they’ know and would ‘they’ care that my children are fluent in two languages? Do they measure that? Would ‘they’ know and would ‘they’ care that my master eight year old can play more than 15 songs of varying degrees of difficulty without looking at the sheet music? Would ‘they’ know and would ‘they’ care that both my boys are Lord of the Ring fans, that they love The Hobbit and that they relish the adventures Chronicled in Narnia? And quite frankly, if ‘they’ knew, what would ‘they’ do with the information, except put them in a box, and say that this is how this type of boy thinks, and conducts himself?
Why are we as parents so scared that out children are seen as average? Why are some of us, always singing the praises of our children to others? Why do we need to inform other parents of seemingly average children that out children have achieved this and that award? Why is it necessary to say that your child has been allowed entry into this or that school, as if you want to be so humble, but actually you want to rub my nose in it just a little bit? Because let’s be honest, your child’s achievements are not your achievements. If there is anyone that has to walk around with a bit of a chip on the shoulder it is your child and not you. Yeah sure, you are the one driving the little one from the one event to the other event, and you are the one who saw the potential and are helping him to achieve his dreams. But at the end of the day, it makes you a chauffeur. An enabler, nothing more. So mum if you want to brag – brag about the fact that you drive the car in a safe way to get your child from point A to point B, and that you are willing to do so, while you actually have a million other things to do.
Why am I so pissed off? Jealousy? Narkiness?
Could it be because I read an article where a person who interviewed potential Harvard candidates, related how a seventeen year old was yearning for the day that she became middle aged. Yes, you read right, this youngster with the world at her feet, was going to study engineering because she is good at maths and science, even though literature makes her heart beat faster. She was going to study engineering because that is what her parents expected of her, and they expected that she gets married when graduating and have children. And she could not wait to start working so that she could save enough money, that when middle-age hit, she had enough to retire and go travel. In middle age! When gravity starts pulling, and your knees hurt when climbing stairs, and your back hurts because of the children you bore. Really? Really!
There is absolutely NOTHING average about me or my children or my husband. There is absolutely nothing average about anyone I know! No one person is average. Every single human being is unique. Is EXCEPTIONAL, is OUTSTANDING.
So, to ‘them’ that like to measure people by how they look, how they perform, how they act, how much they weigh, how they speak, how much they speak, how much they smoke, how much they drink, “Excuse me – have we met yet? And puhleeze! You ain’t seen nothing yet, and nobody got time for that!”
(Have a look at the following links for the articles I mentioned, and take time to read the comments as well.)