Thursday, June 30, 2011



This is from five years ago, while celebrating Ivy's birthday on the beach in Penticton -- I love her little smile as she eyes her cake and listens to us sing. In retrospect, five-year-old Ivy provided plenty of clues about who she'd be at 10, but of course that's difficult to project into the future. Fun to check out past birthday posts with that in mind: nine, seven, five, and four.

Maybe high expectations come with the territory when you speak and read like someone much older. We often have to remind ourselves that she's not simply a miniature adult, especially when she's emotionally distraught about something we'd never worry about. I know the "gifted" label is problematic, but it shows up repeatedly in the literature on high-achieving kids that many have asynchronous development -- often with academic or creative skills far outstripping their ability to process emotional situations that we think they should be able to handle. That was certainly Ivy at five...and at ten. I love seeing her progress through the tough stuff; even more than seeing her thrive in the pursuits that are easy for her.

She goes through times when we frequently remind her to "take off the black hat", a reference to the critical, skeptical, analytical thinking processes from de Bono's six thinking hats. She comes by it honestly, as I occasionally wonder whether my own black hat is sewn onto my scalp. Perhaps we'll share the blessing/curse of the INTP personality type, prizing our mutual independence, creativity and problem-solving while trying to cope with the prickly traits in the package. I already find myself astounded at her personal creative outlets, leaps and projects, mostly hatched and incubated without any outside assistance -- when she gets an idea, she can be a real force of nature.

So now Ivy heads into her 11th year, with plans to keep learning at home -- so far it has not been easy to tempt her to try school again, which is not surprising. She's planned a small (but lavish and high concept) Greek-themed birthday party the week after her official big day. This week we'll celebrate with family, fish 'n chips and a favourite dessert. Last week Ivy finished up her violin season with a summer recital -- it's worth watching the video just to see her come flying in with her fiddle group about 30 seconds in, and then smile...

So we've got an incredible ten-year-old daughter and we're so proud her. What I wrote five years ago still applies perfectly:

"Like all of us, she also has her moments where it's not all good, and we're probably too hard on her sometimes, but overall it's an amazing honour to spend time with this precious creature. Happy Birthday, Ivy Jane."

Update: Birthday party video posted...






Angella said...

Awwww....I love this.

Happy birthday to your beautiful girl!

Amanda Brown said...

She is SO beautiful, and what a lovely tribute to a lovely girl. You guys are raising a wonderful family indeed.

Happy Birthday, Ivy!

Anonymous said...

You guys have always carved a path ahead of us with the whole kid scene - 10 YEARS!!!!! Wow, I'm not sure I'm prepared, but if I can piece it together into a tribute anything close to this, I'll be doing well.

Great post.

Jeremy said...

Thanks for these warm comments!

MD, you're not far behind...a few years with kids goes by in a blink.