“What two letters of the alphabet are there, that express perfection?”
This is my favorite conundrum, for the answer, as noted in a classic of British literature, is “M. and A.” Emma.
Today our little girl became a teen. We celebrated her sweet sixteen and my sweet sixty-five simultaneously. And, due to a mix-up at the birthday cake, my dear Sally became an elder, too. Sally said she was glad for the mistake, for she wouldn’t want me to be an elder while she still looked young. We both feel young, though we are now grey.
I hope that Sally and I have a long time ahead of us yet. But I know that even if I don’t live long enough to see Emma become a young adult, I will have no regrets, for her talents, her accomplishments, the miracle of who she is–all this guarantees that she will have the best chances possible for a happy and productive life. And what more can any father hope for!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Today, I look back on her childhood and look ahead to her teenage years with pride, optimism, gratitude, and a touch of humility. For love, which is bigger than any of us, makes us humble.
Sally and I feel grateful for and amazed by our Emma’s developments: She has, already, completed three childhood aspirations (all except social); she has ten traits; she earned ten skill points in all childhood skills, and she’s progressing with her skills in logic, charisma, and violin. She’s at the top of her class.
Her happiness has always been our main priority: that was to come first, before any skill development. But developing skills brings her joy. So we have given her ample time to play chess, play the violin, play computer games, and play on the monkey bars. The key to all of this has been “play,” just as Sally had predicted.
My own career as a writer has benefited from observing Emma’s growth and development. I have created a niche for myself in the field of advice for parents of gifted and talented children. In my work, I highlight a few key elements:
1) Provide a loving home. Harmonious, supportive, and loving relationships between the parents, and between both parents and the gifted child, provide an environment conducive to optimizing the child’s talents.
2) Allow the child to follow her own interests and give her plenty of time for her explorations and projects.
3) Don’t insist that the child partake of “normal” social activities or outings. Time at home is beneficial for developing the child’s skills.
4) Provide the necessary toys and equipment for your child to develop her skills. These needn’t be the most expensive models. For Emma, we provided the following items: an inexpensive violin, a bookcase, a drawing table, a chemistry set, a chess table, a doll house (not necessary, but something that Sally and I enjoyed giving to Emma), a giant stuffed bear (also not necessary, but something which has become a dear friend to Emma), a computer, a set of monkey bars, and lots of toys (again not necessary, but something that Sally and I, being family-oriented, loved to give).
5) Provide sleep alternatives to your child. After considerable research, Sally and I agreed that it would not harm Emma to drink sleep-replacement drinks, which she has come to call Zzz-juice. We have found no negative side-effects, and the benefits have been phenomenal.
6) Keep your child’s happiness the top priority. A happy child learns more quickly.
Emma was happy nearly every day of her childhood. Once, she came home from school feeling bored. As soon as she began to play her violin, though, the boredom was overshadowed by her natural inspiration. Once, after confronting a classmate who was trying to copy her answers, she came home sad. But again, a little time playing chess and the sadness faded beneath her focused mind.
We had one frightening incident during Emma’s childhood: while Emma was experimenting on the chemistry set, a combustible compound combusted. We had often told Emma that if ever a fire breaks out at home, she is to head directly out to the sidewalk and wait there until all is safe. Thankfully, she followed our directions.
Sally and I both ran in to extinguish the fire.
During a private and intimate moment later that evening, Sally confided to me that while we were extinguishing the fire, she could hardly take her eyes off me.
I must confess that there is a nearly constant buzz of eros through our home, generated by the passion that Sally and I share for each other. Instead of interfering with Emma’s growth and development, as I had feared it might, it seems to provide a fuel for increased creativity and inspiration. She channels the erotic energy floating through our home into her music, her creative play, and her logical development.
This is not something that I include in my professional writings, but in full disclosure here in my account of our Wonder Child experience, I feel it is essential to make comment on it.
As long as both parents maintain a close relationship with the child, then a passionate connection between the parents seems to provide a beneficial home environment for the child. At the very least, it offers bliss to the parents. And happy parents means a happy child.
Emma’s birthday party provided her a chance to prove herself to be quite a hero, as well. One of our guests was surprised by a visit from the Grim Reaper.
Emma, with a courage that surpassed her years, stepped right up to Mr. Reaper and, relying on her powers of persuasion and logical argumentation, convinced him to spare our guest’s life.
Of course, saving a life made the party a success in everyone’s eye, though we only earned a silver medal.
Sally became an elder amidst the singing and celebrating of her family and friends.
Even now, as I reflect on our journey, I feel a constriction in my throat and a tear rising in my eye: To think, the wonder of transformation! To be a part of the life of a Sim who is a true wonder to all who know her! Our wonder child, Emma.