The Robster

Robbie, Colin, and Ryan. The three handsomest boys around…

While Robbie’s early childhood was different from Colin and Ryan’s, it was no less challenging. Robbie was born about a month early due to some complications during Sara’s pregnancy. He was in the NICU for several days before he was allowed to come home. He has been thriving ever since.

The main thing I worry about with Robbie is the kid is so smart. He hasn’t been tested, but this kid must read somewhere close to a 5th grade level at 5 years old. Because his birthday is in early September, he barely missed the cutoff to go to kindergarten last year, so Sara and I opted to put him in a Private-K class since it cost us the same to send him there as it would regular daycare. We are pretty sure we are going to try to get him tested into first grade next school year, because otherwise, he will have to go through kinder again, and that is just a recipe for disaster.

This school year isn’t over yet, and he is already able to help Colin and Ryan with THEIR homework (and they are both almost finished with first grade). Like most ultra-bright kids, Robbie very bored, very quickly because he has mastered whatever lesson his teacher is giving while the other kids have just finished reading the directions. This causes some behavioral issues because the kid is still only 5 after all. Every teacher says the same thing: incredibly bright kid, but very “distractable”.

The worry I have with Robbie is similar to that of a lawyer with a client he knows is innocent. I am scared to death I will screw this up. There is so much potential in him. He really is the smartest kid I have ever known. He is going to do such great things. Every parent looks at their child, and sees a future POTUSA, or Supreme Court Justice, or Heisman Trophy winner, or Academy Award winner, or whatever. But let’s be honest, every kid doesn’t have that potential. Most kids, I think we just hope they can become a productive member of society.

With Robbie, it really is different. His potential is limitless. And, to be completely honest, that scares the shit out of me. What if I’m not up to the task of being his dad? What if I can’t challenge him enough, and he just gives up out of sheer boredom? What if I push him too hard, too soon, and he gives up because he thinks he can’t do it? I know Sara has those same fears.

When I used to go to church (yes, I DID go to church fairly regularly for a long time, stop snickering), the pastor said he used to say a prayer every night. I went something like this, “Please, Lord, don’t let the damage I did to my children today be permanent.” I think every parent can relate to that prayer.