I am average--5'6" with a medium build, slightly ruddy skin tone, my hair neither brown nor blond. My IQ hovers somewhere between 109 and 115. In high school I got mostly Bs and a handful of As. In college I signed up for an 8 am class my first semester and almost failed it.
8 am is too early when you're an 18-year-old college freshman.
I say this as a non-partying type, by-the-way. I don't have a tattoo. I don't smoke. I've never tried weed. I got my ears pierced at 20, lost my virginity a few hours after my wedding ceremony at 23, and had my first drink at 37. Needless to say, I am not an early bloomer.
I'm not even an on-time bloomer.
The one thing I excel at is reaching my milestones waaaaay late. Which brings me back to this blog and why I've created it. My name isn't Andy. I'm not a man. And while I aspire to be a writer published by a traditional press someday, the most I can call myself is a hobbyist at this point. A few self published books and a blog does not a professional author make.
There are other things (and people) that make me proud. Like my four children. Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you about their perfect grades or the flawless strokes they demonstrate in swimming.
They aren't into sports. They don't speak French or play the violin.
They don't earn straight As.
But they survive. They work. My oldest is on the autism spectrum. Homework is hard for him because he doesn't always remember to turn in what he finishes. He spaces tests and gets lost in the halls. He's triggered by noises: fire alarms, police sirens, the crack of thunder. Yet, he'll walk into a storm to catch the bus. He knows himself. He has courage.
What could he possibly do to make me more proud?
I'm not a professional writer, or musician, or entrepreneur. There are a million things I want to do with my life that may never happen. A million dreams that fall from the sky like confetti that must be left to sit while I cook dinner, or do laundry, or write lesson plans for school. A million story ideas that no one will ever read. And yet I'm proud of my children.
Each one has a disability that means reaching milestones late. Each one is creative. Each one is kind. The world may never know how hard they work to achieve a state of average, but I will.
I will know.
And I will be proud.
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