I didn’t care if Wise was going to be a smart kid. I spent most of my pregnancy with him agonizing over getting him here alive and healthy. Because his older brother had been an extreme preemie who passed away, he had something like a 2/3 of a chance of being delivered before 32 weeks. In the end, he was born one day before his due date.
Wise might have come by his sensitive, anxious nature honestly, with a mom who spent eighteen months certain there’d been some kind of mistake, terrified the universe would take him back into the ether.
I didn’t worry about if he would excel in school. We didn’t do flashcards or consider preschool curriculum. I looked for warm and loving providers and found them in Miriam at the Ann Arbor JCC and KK in Oxford, OH. Two years of not particularly nice daycare providers in Oxford, MS didn’t undo the love he’d felt as a toddler, thankfully. Then we had the wonderful Ms. Jamie at Temple Israel. We moved around a lot.
Thus far, signs indicate we haven’t irreparably screwed up with him. He’s a funny, smart kid with odd interests. Last night I caught him listening to an audio book about Abraham Lincoln on Spotify. The night before it was George Washington. He probably navigated to them while searching for more versions of “It’s a Grand Old Flag” and “Yankee Doodle.”
I went into my archives to compare Wise at Hoot’s age to Wise today.
Wise at 3:
Me, “Let’s spell your name with letter magnets: W-I-S-E. See?”
Wise, “Cool, let’s spell Mommy: P-U. See?”
Wise at 7:
Me, from the front seat of the car: “STOP fighting Hoot and Wise. I’m going to get in an accident.”
Wise: “That’s why I’m not going to have a car when I live in the Scottish Highlands. Only a horse and carriage to drive on the quiet, beautiful country roads.”