Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Which IS Better?

L, the youngest of my daughters, is wired vastly differently than her 2 older sisters. She thinks this is a bad thing. She thinks they are smarter than she is because they ALWAYS make good grades, while she makes B's and C's. I've been looking for a way to convince her that one kind of kid isn't better than another, just different. My neighbors' dogs have given me an illustration.

Their 3 dogs converse with my dog every time I drive into my driveway. (They run up and down the fence barking fiercely at each other for about 30 seconds, then they all just give up and walk away.) One of their dogs is a little white mutt. She's got wiry, medium long hair, and little stand-up ears. Another is a black standard poodle, much larger than the little white one. This dog reminds me of Tigger: she's made on springs instead of legs. The other is half Great Dane and half Saint Bernard. She is enormous. Her legs are as long as mine. Yet all three are dogs. One is not better at being a dog than the others, they are just different kinds of dogs. The little one is better at being lap dog than the big one. The big one is better at scaring off intruders than the little one. The poodle is better at jumping than any dog I've ever seen! They were all made for different things.

The Creator obviously doesn't have the same plans for L as He has for my eldest or for M, the middle one. It's tough to help a kid realize that school grades are not the only way to measure up. That's where they spend most of their time and those progress reports and report cards come like clockwork. She sings beautifully, isn't afraid to perform in front of a crowd, and is much more outgoing than the other 2. But there is no concrete measure, no report card, for those things. This afternoon, I'm hoping that the dogs can help me teach her the distinction between better and different.

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