25 June 2015

Brains

Brains. Love 'em. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I just love brains. Love how they work, how different they are and how the same thing can be perceived so differently by two different people.

Wishing my brain was synesthetic, but its not.

But it can do lots of things like draw and write and Hallelujah! I do have common sense so I'm not totally complaining.

I love smart people. Not just book smart but everyday smart and specialized smart and people that have just one interest that they know a whole whole bunch about.

I don't have much patience with stupid.

And stupid doesn't necessarily mean no book smarts. I've met a few book smart people that couldn't find their way out of a paper bag.

With three kids I've gotten to experience three totally different brains. When I was pregnant with the third I kept saying I didn't care if it was a boy or a girl- truthfully I didn't want to know. (Thanks, Amy, for spoiling that surprise!) But mostly I was curious about who would we get. Personality. Brains.

Probably one of my most favorite pics of this kid.
Even with the giant diamond in his ear.

The first kid, the Big Guy, is a musical whiz. He can play anything by ear. He learned how to read music but he doesn't. In that respect he's just like my brother, Paul. Paul could sing and play anything,  a trait that I was always totally jealous of. I can't carry a tune in a basket. Zero musical talent. None. Big Guy got it all.
But Big Guy can't do math. He learns it, then it just goes...I can't tell you how many math classes he repeated in high school but it was a lot. One semester of algebra was repeated three or four times. He was privately tutored twice a week for math from the time he was in fourth grade until he graduated from high school. Year round. I thought music was supposed to help kids with math? Not in his case.


First time surfing, got up right away.
Same with snowboarding, skate boarding, etc, etc. 
Natural athlete.

Then came Belle. A mover and shaker from four months. Literally. Set her on the floor at four months plus one day and turned my back. She rolled from one room to another. And never stopped after that. Belle didn't crawl, she rolled. Then at 8 months she walked. At 8 months and one week, she ran. She could climb anything. We had to nail the dressers to the walls. She had gross motor skills AND fine motor skills from the get-go. At one year old I could put her in her car seat, drive thirty minutes and she would still be in the seat, but her shoes would be unlaced and then re-laced in an entertaining if not exactly correct order. Every sport came easy to her from bikes to horses to surfboards and soccer.

Belle could recite the entire Golden Book of Cinderella at the age of 3. Word for word. That book has about 30 pages, it's not a board book. But Belle struggled with letter sounds. I knew she wasn't reading but it took her teachers a bit to realize it. She could "fake read" so well.  Belle is dyslexic. And I cannot tell you how many times she has amazed me with her logic and ability to see the same situation that I see in an entirely different way. It's like she comes with the ability to see something from the back rather than head on like the rest of us.  She still memorizes like a champ. It's a really handy quality. She's a great waitress because of it.


Bunny can bake. That's a math and chemistry thing.
Once she told me she was going to make crepes. 
I warned her that people tried for years to perfect making crepes, plus we didn't have a crepe pan.
No problem. 
She followed the recipe and they were easily some of the best I'd ever had.

Last we had Bunny, that third kid. At first I didn't really notice in the chaos of three kids and moving  from one house to another, that she was talking in full sentences at 11 months. She could sing the alphabet song all the way through, correctly, about the same time. At 3 she taught herself to read. From about 6 to 8 she played a game where she could look at a word and tell me if it had an odd or even number of letters in it, faster than I could count the letters myself. Big words. "Neighborhood". We would see words on a sign  and she would shout "Even" before I could even finish reading it out loud. She might not have known how to spell the word but she could certainly tell me how many letters it had. And she was NEVER wrong. She eventually tested out as Gifted and Talented in math and science.
BUT!! "Left" and "right" are concepts that still challenge. (Although, thankfully not so much since she has started driving.) And if it wasn't for her sister, she would have been dead a million times because she could NOT remember to look before crossing the street or to not walk in the middle of the road.

Could these three kids have been any different? Totally different brains. Totally different thought processes.

Challenges but also compensations.

And then I was talking to a friend of mine whose mother has Alzheimer's. What an awful awful disease, slowly robbing victims of their memories, their mobility, their lives.

Her mom has been diagnosed for quite a few years now and had gotten to the point where she was pretty much immobilized. The home had her in a wheelchair. She didn't walk.

Last fall she had a few seizures.

Seizures are uncontrolled electrical impulses in the brain.   And guess what?

Now her mom is dancing. And walking.

Really.

Proof.

                  
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Isn't that amazing???

Brains. A never ending source of wonder.


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