Most days, in my happy, independent adult world, I feel pretty smart. Pretty on top of my game.
I can multi-task with the best of them. I can run a household and a successful photography business. I pay bills, handle finances, and perform minor home repairs. I also hold down a leadership position in my church, and do a pretty dang good job of it all, thankyouverymuch.
All while catching movies, lunching with friends, keeping my house clean, and reading a good book.
Sure, sometimes we eat at the McDonalds. And maybe the laundry sits unfolded for a day here and there.
But I like to think that I do a pretty good job of it all.
Until that horrible moment comes along which knocks me off my high horse with brutal humility.
Last night was one of those moments.
I was helping a child with homework, and quite honestly had no clue what to do.
I would like to say that this child was my freshman son, who is incredibly smart.
Or even my seventh grader, who is taking all challenge classes and doing so well.
It was the homework of the girl child in the fifth grade.
The four-lettered M-A-T-H homework.
I was completely dumbstruck (literally) and could not figure out how to help her. Feeling helpless, I grabbed the laptop, ran to the bathroom, pretended to be otherwise engaged, and searched frantically for a Khan Academy video that would restore my credibility and put order once again in the universe.
Tragically, the little girl stood impatiently outside of the bathroom door and figured out pretty quickly that her mama ain't so good with the smarts.
(Lucky for me, Chase took charge of the situation and taught us both what to do. Though, I won't lie. I've already forgotten it and will probably be unable to help her tonight.)
It's unnerving. For both them and for me. The look of disillusionment in a child's eye is one that goes straight through the heart like a knife. When they realize they're smarter than you, it's all over. You might as well hand them the proverbial keys to your life, because they will forever more question your good judgement. They will second guess you on the way to the grocery store with, "Are you sure this is the right way, Mom?"
You know, the store you've been driving to all your life. Or at least the last six years.
Or they get frustrated and say, "Hand me the directions. I'll do it." as they hastily (and correctly) begin assembling their own bike. You suddenly become a slow-witted, delicate, old lady in their eyes who is ready for the Home. They cannot imagine you as a functioning member of society and fully expect to find you wandering the neighborhood in your slippers and housecoat.
And you're not even forty yet!
Am I the only one here? Tell me you are all a bunch of dummies, too.
Or just lie.
Either way. Pleez mayk mee feel beter about mye dum selph?!".