The other day Chamudi looked up from his lunch and started babbling incoherently. Slowly we started to make out what he was saying...okay, letters...wait...the letters of his name!
He pointed to the alphabet blocks on the piano that spell out his name and once again "read" them aloud. We brought the letters down from the piano and he put them in order just about perfectly.
Did my 21 month old just spell his name? For real?
Abba and I wondered--like so many other first-time parents--whether maybe just maybe our Chamudi is a genius. "I'd rather not know if he is a genius," I said. "I'm afraid I would treat him differently." Become that mom who denies her gifted child the carefree joys of being a little kid.
We debated what it means to be a genius. Abba suggested that maybe, IQ-test-wise, he himself could qualify. Me--I'm not really interested in IQ tests. I'm looking for a different level of genius--Rambam, Einstein, Aristotle. Break a paradigm. Create a new world order. Then maybe we can talk genius.
But all of the sudden the whole conversation felt like a huge ayin harah. Chamudi's only 21 months, countless children older than him have suddenly halted normal development and receded into themselves and all this genius talk is just so...presumptive...dangerous.
So I put an end to all this talk of genius. "I just want him to be happy, healthy, and normal," I said.
And I meant it.