When I was pregnant with my oldest, I imagined what it would be like to watch my son learn about the world around him.
First he would smile and babble. Then he’d discover how to roll over and sit up. He’d start to eat solid foods, stand, walk, jump, run, recite his colors and ABCs, spell words, and eventually conquer the classroom.
I would support him throughout these milestones. He would lean on me for guidance and look to me for wisdom.
Need help diagramming a sentence? Look no further than dear ol’ mom. Need suggestions on what to read for book reports? I’ve got your back, son.
Because I am smart.
My confidence didn’t last nearly as long as I originally thought. I now have three kids and the only one who still asks me for advice is my preschooler. And even she raises a doubtful eyebrow when I reply as if to say, “For real? Are you sure about that? Do you need to phone a friend before you lock-in that answer?”
Turns out the same subjects that baffled me back when I was a student – math, history, geography – haven’t gotten any easier to understand with age.
My fourth grader is currently memorizing state capitals. I can help him out with about 10 of the 50… on a good day. He tried explaining how to estimate mathematical sums by rounding numbers and I instinctively collapsed into the fetal position and covered my head.
My sixth grader blew through the Percy Jackson book series in the time it took me to decipher the first one. Algebra and chemistry make complete sense to him. If I didn’t witness him physically come out of me, I would question whether or not he’s mine.
In summary: I was smart. Smart enough to get straight As. Gravity has clearly taken over parts of my body and my mental prowess as I’ve aged.
Heidi Woodard is a working-mom with three children.
Read her Thursdays on momaha.com
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