Absolute Genius? How to Know if Your Child is One

I’m a bit obsessed with female entrepreneurs that lived before the 21st century, especially if they were mothers, trying to keep their families alive. They hold unparalleled truths in the ways they lived their lives, and the totally stale accounts of their lives on Wikipedia make me ugly cry—which is so embarrassing when it happens on a park bench while I’m on my smartphone. (Forgot I was in the park. Sorry, everyone.)

 

One of the most notable “mother-preneurs” is Maria Dmitrievna Mendeleeva. Her husband was a teacher that became blind, lost his teaching position because of it, and died, so she reopened her family’s abandoned glass factory to keep her family alive. Well, until it burned to the ground.

 

Beyond poor, Maria then took her youngest son Dmitri, who she had always encouraged to “patiently search divine and scientific truth,” all the way to Moscow to beg for his admittance to the University. They turned them down for obvious reasons, so she then trekked 435 miles with him to St. Petersburg to see if her son could study at her husband’s alma mater.

 

First of all, where did a woman in the 1850s pull so much strength from? A beaten family with no financial position in this world, suffering unimaginable losses, traveling 435 miles through Russia after already being rejected from a university??? What?!

 

Her persistence is incredible. What’s more is her son gained admittance to that second university, and we know him as the father of the freaking PERIODIC TABLE. He’s the one that realized that the elements could be arranged by atomic weight and then predicted many elements that had not yet been discovered. Her son! The one she trekked across Russia!

 

Can you feel what was in her heart? Can you feel what she knew inside?

 

Her son was a genius that changed the world. And so was she. A mother with such fierce will power.

 

A mother like you and me or someone you love.

 

Recently a founder of a new school asked me what I think of as a “Maria Dmitrievna Mendeleeva question.” He asked, “Do you know your child is a genius and can change the world? Do you know that your child has a calling in life?”

 

He reasoned that if your child is from divine origin, he or she is a genius and was sent here to make a positive impact in the world. And he wanted to know if I knew that and if my son knew that.

 

So I asked my son later. He told me that he was just normal.

 

I kind of felt that I had failed a little bit to have my child think so little of himself; whereas, before I thought I was totally winning because I didn’t have a cocky child who thinks he is better, smarter, greater than everyone else—especially because academic excellence and being deemed gifted actually don’t guarantee extreme success or even success later in life.

 

But being deemed gifted isn’t synonymous with being a genius. To me, “gifted” perpetuates a lie that your child will make an impact based on being better than others; and being a “genius” lets your child know where she is from and who she is. And guess what? Studies show that knowing that you are important, that you are capable, and that you have a calling have huge impacts on success.

 

Once Darian knew he was a genius and could change the world, he started trying to do really difficult things. He started inventing and making new things. I realized that when we see it in ourselves, we don’t stop when we fail. We try 9,000 more times; we listen; we seek help; and we help others.

 

I then realized that after we talked about his brother being a genius and all his friends being geniuses, my own eyes really opened up to the people around me. I could see them on their journeys too.

 

I think that we are all here to make a positive difference, and we can—despite hardships, disabilities, and failures. We just need to see it in ourselves and see it in each other.

 

Now I have to let you know something if you didn’t consider it yet…

 

You too are a genius that can change the world.

 

I truly believe this.

 

I hope with all my heart that you do the things you feel called to do.

 

I hope my children do too. I now tell them everyday.

 

So when my son told me last week that he wanted to be the first person to live on the moon, I first thought, “People don’t do that,” but instead I instantly said that I thought he could make significant contributions to making that a reality for people. Maybe that is his calling. Maybe it will change next week. But who he is will not change.

 

To the world we are creating,

 

Adelaide

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